March 22
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Plant Species of the genus Araucaria

Information about this genus
Name: Araucaria
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Cold tolerance of the species varies, though nearly all will survive slightly lower winter temperatures than their native habitats experience, but none can be grown outdoors in severe climates such as continental northern Europe. In such climates they are grown as conservatory plants and may be kept in tubs for many years. In warmer climates araucarias are grown as landscape subjects in large gardens, parks and avenues. Propagation is usually from fresh seed which germinates readily; cuttings will strike using modern techniques, but tend strongly to retain sideways growth if taken from lower branches.
Description: This ancient and remarkable conifer genus consists of 19 species, of which 13 are known only from New Caledonia and its satellite islands. Of the remaining 6 species, 2 occur in South America, 2 in eastern Australia, 2 in New Guinea (one shared with Australia) and one on Norfolk Island. Araucaria, Agathis and the newly discovered Wollemia make up the unique family Araucariaceae, fossils of which go back as far as the Triassic Period (more than 200 million years ago) in various parts of the world, but which is now almost confined to the Southern Hemisphere. Araucarias have a distinctive growth habit with a straight trunk and usually whorled branches; the spirally arranged leaves are densely crowded and often overlapping on flexible branchlets. In some species individual leaves may live for many years, so that quite thick branches are still clothed in green, while in others whole leafy branchlets are cast off after a very few years? growth. Male and female organs are on the same tree, the tassel-like pollen cones hanging from the side branches, and egg-shaped seed cones with spine-tipped scales clustered near the top of the crown. The seeds, which may be quite large and nut-like, are embedded in the tough cone scales, a feature unique to this genus.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Araucaria angustifolia 9-12
Araucaria araucana 7-9
Araucaria bidwillii 9-11
Araucaria columnaris 10-12
Araucaria cunninghamii 9-12
Araucaria heterophylla 10-11
Araucaria hunsteinii 10-12
Araucaria luxurians 10-12
Araucaria muelleri 10-11
Araucaria rulei 10-11

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