Monkey Puzzle Tree
This tree is so unique, it has an entire book devoted to detailing its history (Araucaria the Monkey Puzzle by David Gedye). Summing up the Monkey Puzzle tree in one paragraph cannot do it justice; but in a nutshell, way back in the 1800’s a guy by the name of Charles Austin was at a fancy British party hosted by Sir William Molesworth. Sir Willy was showing off his expensive garden, which had in it a newly acquired and very coveted specimen of the Araucaria or Chilean Pine. Noting the scale-like sharp triangular leaves of this tree, Charles Austin commented that “it would puzzle a monkey to climb that,” and the name was born. This tree is native to Chile and Argentina and can reach 100 feet tall and 5 feet wide in time. Logging, wild fires, overgrazing, and harvesting of the seeds have threatened its existence significantly. Help promote the conservation of a true living fossil and find a spot for a Monkey Puzzle tree in your garden. And maybe throw a party for it, just like Sir Molesworth! Cin Cin!