Parana Pine
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Parana Pine
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Parana Pine, Brazilian monkey puzzle tree, candelabra tree
Botanical name: Araucaria angustifolia    Family: Araucariaceae (Monkey-puzzle family)

Parana Pine is an evergreen tree growing to 40 m tall and 1 m trunk diameter. This majestic tree has a distinctive, almost ornamental shape, with a flat-topped crown, and whorls of 4-8 branches projecting upwards from the tall, finely scaled trunk. Branches are often bare, with leaves clustered towards the end. The leaves are thick, tough and scale like, triangular, 3-6 cm long, 5-10 mm broad at the base, and with razor-sharp edges and tip. They persist 10 to 15 years, so cover most of the tree except for the trunk and older branches. It is usually dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate trees. The male cones are oblong, 60 cm long at first, expanding to 10-18 cm long by 15-25 mm broad at pollen release. Like all conifers it is wind pollinated. The female cones, which mature in autumn about 18 months after pollination, are round, large, 18-25 cm diameter, and hold about 100-150 seeds. The cones disintegrate at maturity to release the approximately 5 cm long nut-like seeds. Parana Pine is native to Brazil, cultivated in colder regions of India.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Shillong, Meghalaya.
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