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Araucaria araucana (Monkey-puzzle, Pehuén)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Gymnospermae > Coniferophyta > Araucariaceae > Genus: Araucaria

Monkey-puzzle, Arderne Gardens, Claremont, Cape Town. [photo H. Robertson, Iziko ©]

Native to central Chile and west-central Argentina in South America where it grows on the lower slopes of the Andes. Seeds are edible and are eaten by the local Mapuche people who refer to the tree as Pehuén. The spaniards referred to these people as the Araucanians (no longer acceptable terminology), from which the scientific names are derived. Monkey-puzzles are grown in urban areas of southern Africa.

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