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Araucaria heterophylla


Araucaria heterophylla

Family Name: Araucariaceae

Araucaria excelsa var. glauca Carrière, Araucaria excelsa var. speciosissima Carrière, Abies columbaria (Dum.Cours.) Dum.Cours., Eutacta excelsa var. aurea-variegata Carrière, Eutacta excelsa var. glauca (Carrière) Carrière, Eutacta excelsa var. monstrosa Carrière, Eutacta excelsa var. variegata-alba CarrièreEutassa heterophylla SalisbPinus columbaria Dum.Cours. 

Common Name: Norfolk Island Pine, House Pine, Australian Pine, Arukaria, Star Pine


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Gymnosperms (Non-Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical
Maximum Height 50 m to 70 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 20 m


Native Distribution Norfolk Island (east of Australia)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Coniferous tree (not true pine despite common name), 50-70m in height. Crown narrowly conical, branchlets in symmetrical whorls of 4-7. Form relatively upright, sometimes with slight lean. Leaves bright green; Young leaves smaller, wedge-shaped; Mature leaves larger, incurved, scale-like, spiral densely around twigs; hence species epithet 'heterophylla' (different leaves). Whole twigs (rather than individual leaves) dropped during foliage shed. Non-flowering plant - tree produces cones instead, male and female cones on separate trees. Male cones cylindrical, yellow-brown or reddish, pollen-producing; Female cones broad, with triangular scales and bract. Fruits are dehiscent woody cones, seldom produced in cultivation, contain winged, nut-like edible seeds. Distinctive architectural crown makes plant suitable for specimen or mass planting in groves. Striking when located beside tall buildings. If grown in lawns, surface roots may make mowing difficult. Younger plants can be grown in containers and used as Christmas tree substitute in tropics. Mature trees are drought-tolerant. Branches droop if tree is grown in shade. Propagate by cuttings of erect, terminal shoot tips, or seeds (if commercially available).
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Seeds
Others: Timber used for wood-turning and crafts-making in Hawaii.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Coastal, Focal Plant, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Formal Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Abiotic (Wind)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence), Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Acidic (low pH) Soils, Easy to Grow, Drought Tolerant
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Propagation Method Remarks Take stem cuttings of erect terminal shoot tips. Fruit cones and seeds seldom produced in cultivation. Seeds may be available commericially.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Scaly, Thick
Foliar Modification Spine (axillary)
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
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) Grey brown
Mature Bark Texture Peeling / Flaking / Papery, Scaly
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Dioecious

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1429
Species ID 2722
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: 21 December 2021.