Araucaria cunninghamii Mudie

Hoop pine

Family: Araucariaceae

Araucaria cunninghamii is the tallest tree in the Palm House, reaching up into the dome. The species is found in the dry rainforests of New South Wales, Queensland and New Guinea. It is related to the Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), a conifer from South America and to the Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) which is also grown in the Palm House. It is not hardy enough to grow out of doors in Ireland (said to be frost hardy only to -1oC). Hoop pine is a valuable timber used for construction and furniture and as plywood; it is grown in commercial forests in Queensland. The wood is pale in colour with a straight grain.

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens Palm House in 2014. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic