The Bunya pine, is Araucaria bidwillii, a large evergreen tree in the genus Araucaria, family Araucariaceae, and is the last surviving species of the Section Bunya, which were widespread during the Mesozoic with fossils found in South America and Europe. The surviving Bunya pine is now native to south-east Queensland, Australia.

This tree is not suitable for patios and courtyards since it can grow up to 100 feet or more. But for larger properties this stately conifer is just the thing. And, interestingly, it can be easily grown as a house plant since container trees remain small. 

Bunya pine is quite distinctive with a single upright trunk, tiered branching habit, and a pyramidal form. It also bears heavy, spiny fruits, 10 to 15 pounds, filled with large edible seeds that were eaten by aboriginal people. But Bunya pine is dioecious, so both male and female trees are needed to produce fruits, and fruiting rarely occurs in cultivation. But if you are walking near a fruiting Bunya pine care should be taken since the huge cones plummet from considerable height. The deep green individual leaves are lance shaped when young and become oval at maturity with both shapes on the tree at the same time.

Although they do provide some shade, they are not really suitable for that purpose as they typically have a narrow crown. But being evergreen they can serve well as a screen. The form also lends itself well as a specimen and would be the center-piece of any garden. Although it will tolerate some shade the form will be best if grown in full sun. Bunya pine thrives on a variety of soils and is moderately salt tolerant. There is some drought resistance as well though young plants should be watered regularly until they are fully established.

Bunya pine tree/                     False monkey puzzle


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