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Triangle Tree Araucaria heterophylla

Previously known as:

  • Araucaria excelsa
Phonetic Spelling
ar-ah-KAR-ee-uh het-er-oh-FIL-uh
Description

The Araucaria genus is comprised of approximately 19 species of pine-like conifer trees indigenous to the southern hemisphere. The Norfolk Island Pine, is endemic to Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean, east of Sydney, Australia between New Zealand and New Caledonia. It is not native to North America, but is suitable for growing indoors as a houseplant.  It has a graceful pyramidal shape with graceful, wide-spaced branches symmetrically arranged in whorled, horizontal tiers around a single straight trunk. There are typically five branches per whorl.  In its native habitat, it reaches heights of 200 feet. Cultivated trees, grown in subtropical or Mediterranean climates typically grow to 60-100 feet with a 12-60 foot spread. It grows best in open, full sun locations with ample room for its large size, in any well-drained soil type. Outdoors, surface roots may interfere with lawn mowing or lift sidewalks and large cones create litter. Some residential communities prevent their use in landscapes due to potential risks of large falling trunks.

As an indoor plant, it is a small evergreen with saber-like leaves that turn inward in an overlapping herringbone pattern on tiered branches.  Indoors it prefers a bright, cool room (55-65 degrees F) and will reach heights of 9 feet.  Use fertile, porous, sandy, peaty, slightly acidic, well-drained potting soil. Full sun is normally best for developing compact symmetrical growth, but light afternoon shade may be needed to avoid possible foliage bleach (yellow tints). As a houseplant it usually adapts to the warm, dry atmosphere found in most offices and homes. Consider weekly or biweekly applications of dilute liquid fertilizer from spring through fall. Water regularly spring to autumn, avoiding soil that is too wet.  In winter, mist in heated rooms and water sparingly.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems: This tree is generally pest free but is susceptible to scale, sooty mold and leaf spot.  Tall outdoor specimens are susceptible to damage by lightning strikes. Indoor plants, tolerate very low light for 2-3 years but may then display leaf drop and loss of lower branches.  Size (tall height) may also be a limiting factor as an indoor plant, depending on its location.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#houseplant#tree#interiorscape#afternoon shade#needled evergreen#fantz#Christmas tree#Christmas decorations#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#houseplant#tree#interiorscape#afternoon shade#needled evergreen#fantz#Christmas tree#Christmas decorations#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Araucaria
    Species:
    heterophylla
    Family:
    Araucariaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Indigenous people harvested edible seeds and utilized this tree's lumber. Commercial use has been discouraged to protect this vulnerable species from decline.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Norfolk Island (off Australia's east coast)
    Distribution:
    Endemic distribution occurs in Norfolk Island (in the Pacific Ocean, off Australia's east coast between New Zealand and New Caledonia). It occurs as a cultivated plant in many subtropical and Mediterranean climates. In the U.S. it has been introduced in Florida and coastal southern California.
    Wildlife Value:
    Seeds are a food source for small mammals
    Play Value:
    Textural
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    dry indoor atmosphere
    Edibility:
    Seeds are edible (nut-like)
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 12 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Trees are generally dioecious, having male and female cones on separate trees, however, both male and female cones occasionally appear on the same tree. Spiny, globose female seed cones, weighing 10-15 pounds, require 18 months to mature then drop to the ground where they release the seeds.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Filiform
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green, awl-shaped, lanceolate, 1/2 inch long leaves are arranged in a dense, spiral, scale-like pattern along the stem. leaves are soft with sharp pointed ends. The leaves turn inward, overlapping in a herringbone pattern and point toward the stem ends.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Bark Description:
    Rough dark brown bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    This plant has whorled branches with typically five branches per whorl. Hard, gray-brown, resinous; branches whorled, spreading, herringbone, branchlets covered with upturned leaves.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Vertical Spaces
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Salt
    Wind
    Problems:
    Messy