Frank P Matthews
A genus of evergreen trees from Oceania and South American. The most famous is Araucaria araucana, the famous Monkey Puzzle tree, also known as the Chilean Pine from where it originates.
The origin of the popular English name Monkey Puzzle derives from its early cultivation in Britain in about 1850 when the species was still very rare in gardens. The proud owner of a young specimen at Pencarrow garden near Bodmin in Cornwall was showing it to a group of friends and one remarked, “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that!” The name then stuck.
Planted extensively in Victorian times, there are many fin specimens in Britain. For a while it fell out of fashion but is now making a comeback.
Long, spidery, spine tipped branches and triangular dark green leaves. Mature plants can bear cones. Very hardy.