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A picture of a Monkey Puzzle Tree

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Araucaria araucana

Also known as

Chile Pine, Monkey Tail Tree, Araucaria, Monkey puzzle tree

Araucaria araucana El Calafate by Fredlyfish4 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








20 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Monkey Puzzle Tree

A photo of Monkey Puzzle Tree
A photo of Monkey Puzzle Tree
A photo of Monkey Puzzle Tree
A photo of Monkey Puzzle Tree
A photo of Monkey Puzzle Tree

Monkey Puzzle Tree Overview

Araucaria araucana is a highly recognisable species due to its distinctive foliage and growth habit. Thought to be collected from the Governor's dinner table and returned in the pocket of Archibald Menzies, who germinated them on his return voyage, this tree species is now at risk in its native habitats in Chile. This plant is described as a living fossil as it remains essentially unchanged from earlier geological times, and there are no living relatives. It produces highly distinctive, regularly branching stems which follow the mathematical Fibonacci series in their arrangement, producing dark green, rigid, spiny, pointed scales. It also produces cones that take 2-3 years to ripen.

Common problems with Monkey Puzzle Tree

Can suffer from honey fungus.

How to harvest Monkey Puzzle Tree

Generally not harvested.

How to propagate Monkey Puzzle Tree


Take cuttings from vertical branches in midsummer. Cuttings from horizontal branches will not form upright trees.


Seed sown in autumn or spring (but forms selected for leaf colour do not come true).

Other uses of Monkey Puzzle Tree

Suits any site with well drained soil and shelter from cold drying winds. A low maintenance tree it can be used as a specimen tree and is tolerant of salt so can also be planted in coastal gardens.


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