Factsheet N01: Monkey puzzle tree – Araucaria araucana
The Chile Pine, Araucaria araucana (syns A.imbricata, Pinus araucana), is a large evergreen tree of striking appearance, originating from the coastal mountain strip in Chile and Argentina. It has been widely planted as an ornamental tree in western Europe, but few people know about the wider uses of the tree.
The species was introduced to England by Menzies in 1795. While on a survey voyage in south America, he pocketed some raw nuts which had been put out for dessert at a dinner with the Governer of Chile. These he sowed on board ship and landed five plants back in England.