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"Stand of 'pins colonnaires' on the cliffs of Lifou. Araucaria columnaris is local to the Loyalty Islands on coasts exposed to the prevailing winds" (Schmid 1981).


Tree about 20m tall in zocalo, Zacualpan, Nayarit [C.J. Earle, 2007.02.13].


Tree about 15 m tall and 40 cm dbh at Quail Botanical Garden, California [C.J. Earle, 2004.04.06].


Foliage on the above tree [C.J. Earle, 2004.04.06].


Bark on the above tree [C.J. Earle, 2004.04.06].


Distribution map (redrawn from de Laubenfels 1972).


Sometimes cell phone towers try to imitate conifers. This one in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico is trying to look like an Araucaria columnaris [R. Van Pelt, 2005.02].


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Conservation status 2010: protocol 3.1

Araucaria columnaris

(J.R. Forst.) Hooker 1852

Common names

Coral reef araucaria (Silba 1986).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: A. cookii R. Brown (Silba 1986).


"A narrowly conical tree to 60 m. tall. Trunk clear, then later with numerous short shoots. Bark gray, papery, exfoliating in thin strips. Branchlets cord-like, growing in one plane, 9-10 mm. In diameter. Juvenile leaves needle-like, imbricate, lanceolate, 4-7 mm. long by 2-3 mm. wide, apex incurved. Adult leaves scale-like imbricate, triangular, acuminate, obtuse, midrib faint, 5-7 mm. long by 3-5 mm. wide, apex incurved. Male cone oblong-cylindrical, 5-10 cm. long by 15-22 mm. wide; scales triangular, finely teethed, pollen sacs 10; microsporophylls cuspidate. Female cone 10-15 cm. long by 7-11 cm. wide, with short bracts to 7 mm. long. Seeds 3-3.5 cm. long, nut ovate, wings broadly rounded. Germination epigeal" (Silba 1986).

Distribution and Ecology

S New Caledonia: Ouinne to Prony & Isle of Pines, 0-50 m (Silba 1986), and Loyalty Islands (Schmid 1981). Zone 10 (cold hardiness limit between -1°C and +4.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001). In my experience, it is also among the most common ornamental Araucarias encountered in climates - such as Hawaii, New Zealand's north island, Queensland, southern California and Mexico - that are warm enough to support it.

The IUCN reports that the population status is stable.

Big tree

There is a specimen growing as an ornamental at the Tedeschi Winery in Ulupalakua on Maui, Hawaii, that is 48.8 m tall with a dbh of 120 cm (Robert Van Pelt e-mail 1998.03.18).



Have only found one study, exploring its use as a lead indicator (Medeiros et al. 2008).





Medeiros, J.G.S., M. Tomazello, F.J. Krug and A.E.S. Vives. 2008. Tree-ring characterization of Araucaria columnaris Hook and its applicability as a lead indicator in environmental monitoring. Dendrochronologia 26(3):165-171.

See also

Association Endemia, a site devoted to New Caledonian species. Has excellent photos, a range map, and other information. In French.

The PROTA database account for this species (accessed 2015.02.01). PROTA accounts are focused on commercial forest uses in Africa, and typically include photographs, drawings, names, distribution, and a variety of information relevant to management of the species.

Last Modified 2015-02-01