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Araucaria_bidwillii - Hook.

Common Name Bunya-Bunya, Monkey Puzzle Tree, False Monkey Puzzle
Family Araucariaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich volcanic soils in moist valleys at low elevations near the coast[81, 167].
Range Australia - Queensland.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Araucaria_bidwillii Bunya-Bunya, Monkey Puzzle Tree, False Monkey Puzzle

Araucaria_bidwillii Bunya-Bunya, Monkey Puzzle Tree, False Monkey Puzzle


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Form: Columnar, Pyramidal.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Araucaria_bidwillii is an evergreen Tree growing to 40 m (131ft 3in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Seed - raw, cooked or ground into a powder[1, 2, 81, 157, 183]. Starchy and delicious, it has the texture of a waxy boiled potato with the flavour of chestnuts[183]. Large, it is an important food source for the Australian Aborigines[156]. Cones can be up to 4.5 kilos in weight and contain up to 150 seeds[1]. The germinating seed produces an underground 'earth nut' which has a coconut-like flavour[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Wood - soft, easily worked, high quality. Used for cabinet making, flooring, plywood etc[156]. The branches are used for fencing and fuel[272].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Pest tolerant, Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils[157]. Plants are resistant to salt spray[157]. Not very hardy outdoors in Britain, it requires a cool greenhouse in most parts of the country[1]. Some provenances should be hardy at least in the milder areas, there is one tree growing in Cornwall at Glendurgan gardens[81]. It was 10 metres tall in 1965[185]. This species is hardy to about -5°c, with occasional lows to -8°c, but it is liable to be killed in severe winters even in the Scilly Isles[200]. In Australia, each Aboriginal family would own a group of trees and these would be passed down from generation to generation[2]. This is said to be the only case of hereditary personal property owned by the Aborigines[2]. Special features:Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[134] or it can be stored cool and moist then sown February in a greenhouse[78, 80]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 2 months at 15°c[134]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. The plants have a rather sparse root system and are best placed in their final positions as soon as possible. Give them some protection from the cold for at least their first winter[K].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Araucaria bidwilliiBunya-Bunya, Monkey Puzzle Tree, False Monkey PuzzleTree40.0 9-11 MLMHSNM302

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

Erl Winter   Sun Jul 4 14:42:44 2004

Synonym; this tree is often called the "bunya pine" Google returns 1730 sites for this name and 3960 for "bunya-bunya".

Know Hazards: a 4kg cone dropping some 35 metres can injure or kill a person or animal beneath the tree. The leaves have very sharp points.

Boris   Thu Jun 21 2007

I am looking for Araucaria bidwillii or araucana seeds. If you have some, email me at boris at davyd.de Thanks!

Garry Gatfield   Thu Jan 22 2009

I have eaten Bunya nuts since I was a child, and rate then as 5 on the edibility and nutrition scale, a 3 is a poor rating for such a large delicious nut. goldpan

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