Araucaria columnaris (G. Forst.) Hook.
Araucaria excelsa (Lamb.) R. Br.
New Caledonian pine, coral reef araucaria, Cook pine, Cook araucaria, columnar araucaria
This tree is native to New Caledonia. It has been successfully introduced to Hawaii. It was first classified by botanist Johann Reinhold Forster, on Captain James Cook’s second circumnavigation of the globe. It prefers calcerous soil and is found close to the coast.
Plants: Trees are distinctively shaped, forming narrow conical shape 164-213' (50-65 m) in height. The trunk bottom is clear. Bark peels easily in thin paperlike sheets. It is rough, grey, and resinous. Branches form whorls around the trunk. The entire tree tilts slightly, leaning south in the northern hemisphere and north in the southern. The average tilt is about 8°.
Leaves: Branches are divided into a profusion of mostly horizontal branchlets, each quite uniform in diameter, resembling a green rope, and covered spirally with neatly arranged needlelike leaflets. Each leaflet bends forward toward the branch tip, and are ⅛-¼" (4-7 mm) × ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-3 mm). Young leaves are lanceolate, and look like needles. Adult leaves are triangular and more scale-like, ¼" (7 mm) × ⅛" (3.5 mm).
Fruits: Female seed cones are scaly, egg-shaped, and 4-6" (10-15 cm) × 2½-4" (7-11 cm). Smaller, more numerous male pollen cones are a branch tips, and a scaly, shaped like fox tails, and 1¾-4" (5-10 cm) × 6-9" (15-22 cm).
See also the similar-appearing Norfolk pine.
Araucaria columnaris on conifersociety.org
Araucaria columnaris on The Gymnosperm Database
Araucaria columnaris on Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers
Araucaria columnaris on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species
Araucaria columnaris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 10: