Araucaria cunninghamii is a species of Araucaria known as hoop pine. Other less commonly used names include colonial pine, Queensland pine, Dorrigo pine, Moreton Bay pine and Richmond River pine. The scientific name honours the botanist and explorer Allan Cunningham, who collected the first specimens in the 1820s.
The species is found in the dry rainforests of New South Wales and Queensland and in New Guinea. The trees can live up to 450 years and grow to a height of 60 metres. The bark is rough, splits naturally, and peels easily.
The leaves on young trees are awl-shaped, 1–2 cm long, about 2 mm thick at the base, and scale-like, incurved, 1–2 cm long and 4 mm broad on mature trees. The cones are ovoid, 8–10 cm long and 6–8 cm diameter, and take about 18 months to mature. They disintegrate at maturity to release the nut-like edible seeds.
There are two varieties:
- Araucaria cunninghamii var. cunninghamii - Australia, from northeast New South Wales to east-central Queensland, at 0-1,000 m altitude.
- Araucaria cunninghamii var. papuana - New Guinea, on the mountains of Papua New Guinea, and in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, at 100-2,700 m altitude.
Cultivation and uses
The wood is a high quality timber that is particularly important to the plywood industry and also used for furniture, veneer, joinery, panelling, particle board, flooring and boats. Most natural stands in Australia and Papua New Guinea have been depleted by logging. It is now mainly found on timber plantations; however, the species continues to thrive in protected areas, including Lamington National Park where at least one walking track is named after it.
Australian Aboriginal use
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- Thomas, P. (2011). "Araucaria cunninghamii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Araucaria cunninghamii". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Hoop Pine". Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Hoop Pine". about NSW. Archived from the original on 13 March 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Species: Araucaria cunninghamii (Hoop Pine)". Plantation Information Network. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Hoop Pine". Australian Timber Database. Timber.net.au. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Nature, culture and history". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- Corlett, Eloise. "An Evolution Of Ethnobotany". ByronBayNow. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012.