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Friday, June 6, 2014

Araucaria columnaris - Cook Pine

The Cook Pine is often encountered in our neighborhoods as a house plant gone bad, outgrowing its allocated space indoors and put into the landscape. They are very similar to the Norfolk Island pine and some references suggest that the majority of the house plants are Cook Pines and not NIP. 

These beautiful evergreen conifers are very narrow and have a curve in the stem, not sure why but they almost always do. Growing quite tall in their native habitat they are likely to read 40' around here. They have very short lateral branches making the tree very narrow. 





This specimen is at Cal  Poly, and seems unusually dense.



Leaves are evergreen and of multiple types. Juvenile foliage is needle-like, soft and about 1/2" long. Adult foliage is awl-like, short, stiff and sharp. The branches resemble cords. 



Female reproductive cones.



Bark is thin, and peels off in strips.



All the goodies.



Misidentification:
Many experts confuse the Cook Pine and the Norfolk Island Pine. I doubt I can tell the difference looking at the foliage. Only way I can tell is to look at the shape of the trees.

Location:
Santa Cruz
1039 Laurent St.
602 Chestnut,  Corner of Chestnut and Locust St

Santa Cruz  - Pleasure Point
230 30th Ave.

Watsonville
218 E. Riverside Dr

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