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ARAUCARIA bidwillii

Image of Araucaria bidwillii

James H. Schutte

Family

Araucariaceae

Botanical Name

ARAUCARIA bidwillii

Plant Common Name

Bunya Bunya Pine

General Description

With shiny, prickly foliage concentrated in tufts at the ends of branches, bunya-bunya pine is known for its spiny, heavy cones that drop like bombs to the ground below. Only found naturally in the coastal and inland rainforests of Queensland, Australia, it is a tall evergreen tree that attains a triangular dome canopy at maturity. When youthful, the tree has a pyramid-like habit with a tall central leading tip. The leaves are dark green, brighter when new, and waxy, stiff and notably sharp at their elongated tip. They persist on branches, protecting them from touch, and are arranged in a somewhat flattened array of angles on the twigs.

The cones are green, occurring in spring, being either male or female, both found on the same tree. Only pollinated female cones form the large, pineapple-like cones that are spined, dense and heavy. Reaching a size up to a that of a volleyball, they are filled with edible seeds. These cones have a tendency to drop haphazardly, and can cause severe harm to those who are unknowingly below.

Grow bunya-bunya pine in full sun in a well-drained soil of average fertility. It is tolerant of heat, drought and seaside conditions. Plant it only in spacious landscapes, preferably not above benches, walkways or other areas where falling heavy cones would be considered a hazard to life or property. They are especially handsome when planted in small groves where their full form can be admired.

The wood of this tree is a valuable timber crop. It is hard but lightweight.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    60'-85' / 18.3m - 25.9m

  • Width

    40'-60' / 12.2m - 18.3m

  • Native To

    Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Shade Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No