Monday, February 8, 2010


The Araucaria araucana (Monkey puzzle) for you botany freaks is native to Chile and Argentina.

On my way to shop for groceries at Trader Joe's I often encounter this tree, which I had to first identify and then look up on Wikipedia to find out more about it. I'd never seen, let alone could identify this huge and oddly handsome tree. The long branches flip up at their ends so it looks like a giant hair-do! I've since seen quite a few of them here. Apparently they have an edible seeds from the pine cones growing on them like conventional pine trees. The leaves are odd looking, yet their organized uniformity is unlike any tree leaf I've ever seen. It looks almost woven. And the near blackness of the green is gorgeous. I have since discovered they grow all over the U.S. now.

The trees photographed here are enormously tall--a very handsome, showy tree.

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