is often known as 'Chile Pine', but
isn't a pine. Araucariacea are, like
Pinaceae, one of the (about) eight
families making up the Coniferae.
Araucariacea include the Aurucaria as
well as other southern hemisphere
conifers including Wollemia, [this was
just discovered in 1994 and you can see
a rare specimen in the National Botanic
Gardens in Dublin].
was named after the Araucaria native
South Americans who live in southern
Argentina and Chile ( and who don't like
this name given to them by the Spanish,
and prefer to be called Mapuche). Araucaria
araucana grow in this area, where
we saw mountain forests of them during
our 2005 visit to Patagonia. This one of
course was urbanised, in San Martin, and
has the 'specimen tree' habit that we
see in arboreta here. In nature, however
the trees look much more untidy, with
branches broken by winter snowfall.