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Araucaria heterophylla (Salisb.) Franco

Norfolk pine, Norfolk Island pine

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyAraucariaceaeAraucarian family
GenusAraucariaNamed for the South Chilean province of Arauco
SpeciesheterophyllaMeans that the leaves are different on the same plant

About plant names...

Norfolk Island Pine isn't a pine, but it is from Norfolk Island, and nowhere else. Norfolk Island is between Australia and New Zealand. They are popular as house plants in America.

Identification: In natural settings, trees reach 164-213′ (50-65 m), with a neat conical Christmas-tree shape. Leaves are needle-shaped, sharp-tipped but soft to the touch, almost like moss. Each needle is ⅜-½″ (1-1.5 cm) in length and about 1/32″ (1 mm) around. On older trees, the needles reach up to ⅜″ (1 cm) and up to ⅛″ (4 mm) around. The thickest leaves are at the top, along with the cones. Cones are cylindrical, 1-3″ (2.5-7.6 cm) long. Female cones are spherical in shape, and 3-5″ (7.6-12 cm) around. See also the similar-appearing monkey-puzzle tree and New Caledonia pine.

Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk pine, Norfolk Island pine)

Immature seed cones. By tree-species@flickr.

Online References:


The Gymnosperm Database


The Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Wikimedia Commons

The University of Connecticut Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Plant Growth Facilities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (PDF)



Araucaria heterophylla description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk pine, Norfolk Island pine)

8/29/2010 · Joy and Jim’s, Mansfield, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 7 × 4½″ (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk pine, Norfolk Island pine)

7/29/2023 · Joy and Jim's, Mansfield, Mass­a­chu­setts

Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk pine, Norfolk Island pine)

4/9/2015 · MacDonald‘s, Marco Island, Florida

Range: Zones 10-11:

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