Identification: Fir needles, spiky skinny "trunk" - may u help me ID this plant?

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by NatureStream, Aug 12, 2017 at 2:01 PM.

  1. NatureStream

    NatureStream New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest America
    Hi there,
    We have been trying to search for this plant species but to no avail. May someone please help us figure out what this plant is called and how to take care of it so it grows? It hasn't grown in 5 years but we've had it for 15 years!
    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,135
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Looks like Araucaria heterophylla, Norfolk Island Pine.
     
  3. NatureStream

    NatureStream New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest America
    Oh my goodness! You were so correct! How amazing! We thank you so much!
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,270
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    More likely Coral Reef Araucaria (Araucaria columnaris). Looks very similar to A. heterophylla, but much commoner in cultivation.
     
  5. NatureStream

    NatureStream New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest America
    wow, those two species are SO SIMILAR. Thank you for the information as well, Richard.
    How am I supposed to know which one I have?
    I live in midwestern US. My mother bought this more than 10 years ago at a plant store. It was supposed to be an indoor plant...

    Thank you both I will do more research on them both but at least they are kind of similar, no?

    thanks again!!
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,546
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The Araucaria heterophylla, Norfolk Island Pine, is commonly sold as a houseplant on this continent. It think it would be very unusual for A. columnaris to be sold as such. Please, anyone, correct me if I'm wrong about that. It could just be that any tree that looks somewhat like this is sold as Norfolk Island Pine.

    Your plant will never look like the ones in this thread, but here is a comparison of three Araucaria.
    Identification: - How many different species in this collection?
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,135
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Perhaps it's A. columnaris that's common in the eurozone.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,270
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Nope - it's A. columnaris that is commonest in USA, invasive and abundant in Hawaii (with most seed merchants collecting seed there), and common in southern Florida & southernmost California; it is very commonly mislabelled as A. heterophylla, though.

    A. columnaris is also the commoner of the two in Asia and South America, but in cultivation in Australia and New Zealand, A. heterophylla predominates. In the Mediterranean, both are planted, but with a slight dominance of A. heterophylla.

    The two are easily distinguished by crown shape when mature, but small plants up to 5-10 years old are effectively indistinguishable.

    Example pics of cultivated trees:
    A. columnaris (Maui, Hawaii) - dense branching with fairly short, slender, ± level branches (narrow columnar crown), branches usually only with unbranched side shoots
    A. heterophylla (New Zealand) - open branching with long, stout branches angled upward (broad conic crown), branches often with branched side shoots

    And mature trees in the wild:
    A. columnaris, New Caledonia
    A. heterophylla, Norfolk Island
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,546
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Those photos certainly undid any ideas I had that I might be able to distinguish them. Your descriptions are probably what will help the most.
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,135
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    So it's likely impossible for indoor specimens to be positively identified through appearance as most are young; even old ones will likely not resemble anything in the wild because of less than ideal growing conditions indoors.
     
  11. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Daytona Beach, FL USA
    My understanding supports what Michael is saying. Since we have some Araucaria spp growing here in Florida, I have a mild curiosity. This is just one of those cases of widely disseminated inaccuracies. We've all called them Norfolk Island pines, but they are actually Cook pines. Not Araucaria heterophylla, but actually Araucaria columnaris. The pic on the aforelinked site has a striking comparison of the two. I imagine when they were first propagated the difference was simply not noted, and the misnomer stuck. But it is clear that the A. columnaris is what is planted from the ubiquitous tropical Christmas evergreen. Other sites throughout internetland indicate that this misidentified plant is the one and only that we see in North America, unless we happen to be very astute collectors. Yes, there are other Araucaria spp. found in North America, but if we think it's a Norfolk Island pine, it's a nearly always a Cook pine.
     

Share This Page