Monochrome Monday: Monkey Puzzle Tree

Araucaria araucana, or monkey puzzle tree, is native to the south-central Andes of Chile and Argentina.  The leaves of this confer are thick and appear as triangular scales encircling the tentacle like branch, the pattern similar in structure to a pine cone.  While the leaves last on average 24 years, the tree can live as long as 1000 years. 

Monkey Puzzle Tree 1
Monkey Puzzle Tree 1

Its English name was derived during its early cultivation in Britain in the mid-1800s.  While visiting an estate in Cornwall, a lawyer noted his friend’s specimen tree “would puzzle a monkey to climb that”.

Monkey Puzzle Tree 2
Monkey Puzzle Tree 2

The round globes are the female cones.  Indigenous people in Chile and Argentina continue to harvest the edible seeds.  Our Airbnb in Portland was named after this specimen. I am impressed on how striking this tree works as a monochrome composition.

Monkey Puzzle Tree 3
Monkey Puzzle Tree 3

Thanks for stopping by today. To appreciate the character of this tree, click on an image to view a high resolution version.


C. S.

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