Araucaria ID

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by lettuce, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. lettuce

    lettuce Active Member

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    This one didn't come with a card so I'm trying do determine the species.

    I doubt between A.heterophylla and A.cunninghamii.

    According to this paper, A.heterophylla has its leaves at an angle less than 45°, in contrast to A.cunninghamii which has it over 45°.

    So, could this very well be A.cunninghamii? Thanks:)
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Another species commonly confused with A. heterophylla is A. columnaris, this too needs to be considered as a possibility.
     
  3. lettuce

    lettuce Active Member

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    It shoudn't be A.columnaris, since it has a distinctive axial bud and mine hasn't (sorry, no photo for this).

    I guess I'll have to wait to get adult leaves on my plant.
     
  4. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    The easiest way to tell the difference between A.cunninghamii and A.heterophylla if visuals are letting you down, is by touch. A.cunninghamii is really prickly. The latter is very soft to the touch.
    The tree in the pictures looks like A.heterophylla (Norfolk Island Pine) to me.
     
  5. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    I should have pointed out that young plants don't always share characteristics of mature plants, so sometimes books descriptions can be confusing.
    Also, Araucaria heterophylla is much more widespread than A. cunninghamii in Europe. I am fortunate to have both in my small collection but the latter of the two took me an age to find.
     
  6. lettuce

    lettuce Active Member

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    thanks Luke!
    one more question though... what about A.columnaris? It looks identical to A.heterophylla when young.
    I've come across this info about the axial bud being a characteristic of A.columnaris. But now that I look at other photos, this bud doesn't look as a distinctive characteristic after all.

    I plan to get these plants myself (for comparison). Ebay has their seeds on sale.
     
  7. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    I think it is fairly safe to discount Araucaria columnaris as the tree you have. It is not grown commercially in Europe as far as I'm aware and I have only ever seen mature trees, so I'm not sure what the axial buds look like (they were too high up to see!!).
    It'll certainly be a interesting exercise trying to grow A.columnaris from seed. Good luck! (We all expect pictures from you now!!)
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd not be anything like so confident about excluding it on this basis - it is becoming by far the commonest species in cultivation in North America because of seed harvested commercially from the naturalised populations on Hawaii (but often labelled A. heterophylla), and I would suspect a lot of seed planted in Europe is imported from the same sources.
     
  9. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    Maybe I came across a little flippant.
    I was unaware of the American market for mislabelled Araucaria.
    However, I am still fairly certain that the European market is being provided with more accurately labelled plants/seeds.
    A.heterophylla sometimes become multi-stemmed and I've not heard of this habit being found in A.columnaris. The trees I sell as houseplants often have the beginnings of becoming muti-stemmed and they have not been coppiced previously. I have a couple myself, from different wholesale nurseries and I am confident they are indeed A.heterophylla.
    Interesting though that A.columnaris may find its way into the market from mislabelled seed. I'd certainly like to find one!
    You'd have thought that as most of the big commercial growers for northern Europe are based in EU, paperwork for importing seed would show provinence and more accurate naming.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi Luke,

    Maybe Ron B will step in on the American situation - I heard about it from him and others on the Gardenweb conifers forum.

    Are you growing your own from seed, or getting seedlings in from other sources? This too has come up on the GF cf, and the consensus of 'those in the know' there is that muti-stemmed plants are the result of commercial growers putting two (or more) seeds in each pot, to produce denser-foliaged 'shrubby' plants that sell better.

    A. columnaris can certainly become muti-stemmed later in life, as shown (and cause explained) here.

    Numerous pics (all those starting 'Starr ...') of the naturalised Hawaiian trees at wiki commons here.
     
  11. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    Yeah, I did check to see if it was a case of more than 1 tree in the pot but it is definitely a single plant.
    The plants we deal with probably all start life in Holland and are grown on in UK nurseries.
    I have seen several cases of more than one plant being used to give the impression of a single, larger specimen. In my opinion, it doesn't really work. I once found what appeared to be a fantastic Skimmia 'Rubella' for sale for around £50 but over a number of weeks, whole chunks of the plant died off. After closer inspection it was revealed to be around 6, much smaller and inferior plants clumped together. Sadly it does seem to be much more common in the houseplant trade and I don't doubt for a second that Araucaria is sometimes subject to this practice.
    Generally I always repot my purchases. A pleasant surprise when you end up with 2 of what you paid for!
    Thanks for the links.
     
  12. lettuce

    lettuce Active Member

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    My plant, the one on the photos in the first post, was an import from Holland.

    seems that A.columnaris from the link has much denser foliage than my plant (which could then well be A.heterophylla?).
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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