Common Name: Norfolk Island Pine.
Etymology: Araucaria named after the Chilian province of Arauco . heterophylla (“different leaves”) derives from the variation in the leaves between young and adult plants.
Origin: Endemic to Norfolk Island although naturalized in many coastal South Pacific regions including Australia.
Description: Tall straight symmetrical pyramid shaped tree. Grows to 60m in natural habitat and 30m in cultivation.
Foliage: Curved, densely overlapping branchlets, whorled arrangement, slightly pointed.The young leaves are lanceolate, 1-1.5 cm long, about 1 mm thick at the base on young trees, and incurved, 5–10 mm long and variably 2–4 mm broad on older trees.
Bark: Slightly rough gray-brown, exfoliating in fine scales.
Cones: Male and female cones – axillary or terminal. Mature cone is globose 10 – 12cm long and 12-14cm diameter. It takes about 18 months to mature where it falls from the tree and releases nut-like edible seeds.
Growth Requirements: Prefers humid coastal temperate to sub-tropical zones but will grow in much colder and warmer areas. Requires free draining soil, moist but not waterlogged.
Uses: Park specimen, salt resistant so ideal tall coastal tree, used as potted tree when small and often as Christmas tree. In the past Captain Cook thought that they would make excellent masts for ships but later it was discovered that they were too brittle.
Maintenance: Needs to be kept moist when young to avoid branch die-back which leads to a badly shaped tree.Very little maintenance is required. When still in a pot plant can be turned regularly to improve growth on all sides of tree. Never prune.
Propagation: is best done from fresh seeds sown in a friable material in a warm, humid atmosphere. The young seedlings should be potted frequently into larger containers to minimize coiling of the roots, and be planted out as soon as practical. Growing from a cutting is possible but tricky, as each one should be taken from the topmost tip of a young tree preferably a seedling, if that cutting is to root well and grow correctly. However, such pruning will ruin the shape of the seedling from which you take the cutting.