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Plant of the month July

Common Name: Klinki Pine

Scientific Name: Araucaria hunsteinii K.Schum.

Family: Aracucairaceae

Etymology

Genus:  

From the Araucani Indians of Chile

Species epithet:

Named for Carl Hunstein, a 19th century ornithologist, plant collector and gold seeker in New Guinea.

Distribution

Endemic to New Guinea, occurs in the central and eastern highlands, including the Owen Stanley range and Hunstein Mountains.

Native Habitat

Rainforest emergent, can be up to twice the height of the surrounding canopy. Grows from 700 – 2000 metres on rich soil in high rainfall areas.

Description 

A pyramid shaped tall tree, becoming more open and flatter topped with age. Regularly grows more than 50 metres tall with the largest tree recorded nearly 90 metres. Trunk cylindrical and bark is dark brown, fissured and exfoliates in corky plates. Branchlets are whorled and leaves have a distinct juvenile and adult form. Juvenile leaves are awl-shaped and adult leaves lanceolate 6-15 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, flattened and clustered near the ends of branches.

Reproduction 

Monoecious with male and female cones on the same tree. The pollen producing male cones are long slender up to 20 cm long and 1 cm wide. Female cones (pictured) are oval up to 25cm long and 14-16 cm wide. The seed-bearing female cones shatter at maturity, releasing triangular, relatively narrow seeds attached to broad wings that catch the wind and distribute the seeds.

Location in Garden

Palm Grove and Araucaria lawn near Lion Gate Lodge.

Information

Long lived and large, the Klinki Pine may live to 500 years and attain 90 metres in height. It belongs to the conifer family, Araucariaceae. The family had a larger distribution and many more species, in the Jurassic (250 mya). Living members of the family include the Monkey Puzzle tree, Kauri Pines, Norfolk Island and Hoop Pines and the Wollemi Pine.

There are 20 species in the genus and the Klinki Pine is most closely related to the Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii), a fine specimen of which can be see near Lion Gate Lodge. The Klinki pine is the tallest member and has the largest leaves of the genus. Like many other members of the genus, the Klinki Pine does not shed its leaves instead it sheds the whole branchlet. Although commonly called pines, the Araucarias are not true pines, which belong to the genus Pinus and occur in the northern hemisphere.

Natural stands of trees have been widely exploited for timber for use in the plywood industry. This has led to a decline in numbers and especially distribution as trees growing in more accessible areas have been cleared. Plantations have been established since 1948 in New Guinea and other countries including Australia, Fiji and Malaysia.

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