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Araucaria columnaris (J.R.Forst.) Hook.

Family Name: Araucariaceae
Synonyms: Araucaria cookii
Common Name: New Caledonia Pine, Cook Pine, Cook's Araucaria, 南洋彬
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Herb & Spice Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Dry Soils / Drought Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Gymnosperms (Non-Flowering Seed Plants) (Conifer)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical
Maximum Height 25 m to 30 m


Native Distribution New Caledonia
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Tall evergreen conifer, up to 50-70m in native habitat. Crown narrowly columnar, with branches set perpendicular and in whorls around trunk. Trunk has tendency to curve or lean, giving tree a dramatic silhouette. Bark dark brown, rough and papery, peeling off in thin strips.Leaves dark green, small and needle-like (0.5-1.0cm long), closely-overlapping and spiralling densely around twigs, giving branchlet an appearance of a plaited cord. Tree sheds whole branchlets rather than individual leaves.Cones produced at branch tips, male and female cones found on separate trees. Male cones cylindrical, pollen-bearing. Female cones (or seed cones) larger and broader, ovoid, woody with spiny cone scales, mature from green to brown, before disintegrating to disperse seeds. Seeds nutlike, triangular, with membranous wings. Cones and seeds seldom produced in Singapore.Fast-growing, drought-resistant tree suitable for parks, gardens or grown singly as specimen plant. Seldom grown along roadsides, as soot and dust tend to cover fine leaves. Named after Captain James Cook, who discovered plant on Isle of Pines in New Caledonia.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)
[Others]: Young potted trees can be used as Christmas tree substitute in tropical regions. Also commonly planted as timber tree elsewhere for its lightweight softwood, decorative and straw-coloured, used to make furniture and bowls. Seeds are edible.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Disease / Pest Resistant, Dry Soils / Drought, Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting, General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Coastal, Focal Plant
SGMP Treatment

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Thick
Foliar Modification Reduced / Needle-like
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Margin Entire
Typical Foliar Area Nanophyll ( 0.25cm2 - 2.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 2.5 (Tree - Open Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Greyish brown
Mature Bark Texture Peeling / Flaking / Papery
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)
Mature Bark Texture Remarks Rough, papery bark that peels off in thin strips

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1428
Species ID 2721
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.