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Araucaria heterophylla

28th October 2014

In a bizarre twist of circumstances, this is the species of Monkey Puzzle that I have grown for longest, though always in a pot and rarely for very long. The species is grown in a couple of sheltered gardens near the coast and although I don't think I have a hope of growing it here, I am going to give it a try just as soon as this one is too large to keep in a pot in the greenhouse. Perhaps a combination of overhead shelter and wild optimism will make a dream come true. (I don't believe it either, but sometimes foolishness and vanity are all I have to soften the edges of reality).
The species is endemic to Norfolk Island in the Pacific and is grown in large numbers for the pot plant martket every year, to the extent that there is a nursery in the Netherlands who grow nothing else.
The angular structured growth and fine, almost fluffy needles that coat the stems and young branches are the best defense I can offer for moments of lunacy.