Araucaria araucana Monkey Puzzle, detail of leaves

Araucaria araucana Monkey Puzzle


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With its startling silhouette, Araucaria araucana is the Monkey Puzzle tree, the national tree of Chile. In common with the Ginkgo tree, it is a living fossil, flourishing alongside the dinosaurs (who found it unpalatable) and able to withstand lava! Now it is increasingly threatened due to industrialisation in its native Chile and Argentina. First brought to Europe in the 1790s, the hardy Monkey Puzzle achieved huge popularity amongst Victorian and Edwardian gardeners but was often situated unsuitably and outgrew many gardens.

Our Monkey Puzzles are more subtle and arrive around 26cm high, while they will grow, they will not reach their enormous height for many years and in the meantime are a delightful talking point for a garden or make a sculptural statement planted in a container. Fascinating dark green leaves cover the branches with geometrical precision, forming such points that caused a 19th-century viewer to observe that trying to climb it would even 'puzzle a monkey'. 

Pot size: 1L


Common Name: Monkey Puzze, Chilean Pine, Chile Pine

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Height and Spread: 400-800cm x 250-400cm in 20-50 years (reaches over 8m after 50 years)

Foliage: Evergreen

Preferred Soil Type: Well drained

Aspect: South, east or west facing