Monkey Puzzle Tree

This fabulous monkey puzzle tree or Chilean Pine is just a couple of streets away from us on a private property and looks so eye-catching in autumn. It’s in the Araucaria genus and I assume it’s Araucaria araucana ~this link goes to info at Oregon State University if you’re interested. I took the photos on Monday 29 March, a morning when I went on a walk and took a crazy amount of photos!

Photos taken in Tapanui, West Otago, New Zealand.

Click on any photo to enlarge.


Ages ago I did a blogpost on a Monkey Puzzle Tree at Invermay Agricultural Research Centre near Dunedin, New Zealand. The photos in that post were taken in spring 2017.

In that post I also shared a link to a Monkey Puzzle page by the Eden Project.


Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

13 thoughts on “Monkey Puzzle Tree

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  1. That’s a really impressive specimen! There’s a large monkey puzzle tree down the road from here but its branches are much more sparse, so nowhere near as good-looking as this one.

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    1. This one is really nice but they generally do look good in our region as they do well down here in the south of NZ. I think I might try and get more photos of them in different stages of ages 🙂

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    1. How interesting Robert, thank you! Did you see them in the wild? is it common to see them on people’s properties and in public gardens in Chile?

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      1. Yes, growing wild, I lived in PucĂłn, and that region is called AraucanĂ­a. The tree has religious meaning for the local Mapuche people, but years ago logging companies came in and almost logged it out of existence. Now it’s protected but I still didn’t see too many of them.

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          1. Yeah, sad, but that logging was years ago at least, and now I think they’re protected. There are probably more of them, I didn’t get to travel to a lot of areas, that country is more than 4,000 km long!

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  2. It looks like the pretend Christmas trees we used to make with big, fat pipe cleaners. It’s funny — it looks like it was designed by a committee, and everyone wanted to make it look like their favorite tree.

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    1. I too think it looks like a Christmas tree with the strange branches and big baubles! There’s a fair few of these trees scattered around Southland from young trees to big old mature trees, found both on private properties and in public gardens.

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