|Araucaria columnaris grove in native New Caledonia habitat.|
Araucaria columnaris, the Coral reef araucaria, Cook pine, New Caledonia pine, Cook araucaria, or columnar araucaria, is a unique species of conifer in the Araucariaceae family. It is endemic to New Caledonia in the southwestern Pacific, where it was first classified by botanists of Captain James Cook's second voyage of exploration. It is a distinctive narrowly conical tree to 60 metres (200 ft) tall. The female cone is 10-15 cm. long by 7-11 cm. wide.
Araucaria columnaris is among the most common Araucarias planted as an ornamental tree and street tree in warm temperate climates. It is cultivated in gardens and public landscapes in Queensland, northern New Zealand, southern California, Mexico, and Hawaii.
The Cook pine, called Christmas Tree in India, can reach 60m in natural habit, but is more commonly grown as a house-plant in pots. The relatively short, mostly horizontal branches are in whorls around the slender, upright to slightly leaning trunk. The branches are lined with cord-like, horizontal branchlets. The branchlets are covered with small, green, incurved, point-tipped, spirally arranged, overlapping leaves. The young leaves are needle-like, while the broader adult leaves are triangular and scale-like.
The female seed cones are scaly, egg-shaped, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. The smaller, more numerous male pollen cones are at the tips of the branchlets and are scaly, foxtail-shaped, and 2 inches (5 cm) long. The bark of the Cook pine peels off in thin paper-like sheets or strips and is rough, grey, and resinous. The trees have a slender, spire-like crown and look like unusually tall, thin Christmas trees. 
The Cook pine is often confused with the Norfolk Island pine because they have a similar appearance.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Araucaria columnaris.|
- http://www.conifers.org/ar/Araucaria_columnaris.php conifers.org/Araucaria_columnaris
- Endemia.NewCaledonia - Araucaria columnaris - Maps & text
- IUCN Red List: Araucaria columnaris; Conifer Specialist Group 1998. - Downloaded on 10 July 2007.
- All IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
- Conifers.org: Araucaria columnaris (coral reef araucaria) description & images
- Foster Garden, Honolulu, Hawai'i. - Araucaria columnaris image.
- University of Murcia World plants virtual gallery: 'Araucaria columnaris'
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