The Monkey Puzzle Tree is instantly recognisable and a well known feature in many gardens throughout the country. Botanically known as Araucaria araucana, the Money Puzzle Tree originates from Chile where it grows in impressive forest groups. Araucaria araucana is a protected tree in the wild, valued for its straight trunks and high quality timber. Monkey Puzzle trees are sexually dimorphic meaning there are both male and female trees.
The female trees producing cones containing large nuts which were valued by local people as a nutritious food. For us in the UK Monkey Puzzle Trees are wonderfully architectural both as young plants or mature specimens, with young plants happy to grown in containers for many years. They are hardy and adaptable to most soils except waterlogged conditions, torrent of full sun to part shade and require little in the way of pruning.
If you have space, I’d say Araucaria araccana is pretty essential if you enjoy hardy exotic plants. I look after mine by mulching around the base of the trunk annually with a well rotted horse manure and and a handful of pelleted poultry fertiliser, simple.