Araucaria cunninghamii

Araucaria cunninghamii.

The Hoop pine.

Trees are up to 50 m tall and can live for hundreds of years.
Their appearance varies depending on their location.
There are horizontal slits on the bark which peels easily.
The main branches are in whorls.

Juvenile leaves are needle-like, up to 15 mm long and 2 mm wide at the base.
They are keeled with a ridge on lower surface.
Adult leaves are narrowly triangular, incurved, keeled, with a wide base and a sharp tip.

The male cones are on the lower branches and the female on higher ones (an unusual arrangement).

Male cones are on the tips of the lower branches.
They are pale green, cylindrical and have no stalk.
They release huge amounts of wind blown pollen.

The prickly ovoid female cones are up to 10 cm long and 7 cm wide.
When mature (after about 18 months) they disintegrate to release the seeds.
The cones are high up and remain on the tree until the seeds are shed so are seldom seen.
Seeds are winged.

The keel on the leaves distinguishes them from the Norfolk Island and Cook pines which also
    have needle-like adult leaves.