Bunya Pine

Araucaria de Bidwillii

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From eastern Australia, it has a limited distribution. The reason for this was the desiccation of Australia with the loss of the rainforest and the poor dispersion of its seed.

Araucaria comes from the Arauco region (Chile), where the first species was discovered. Bidwillii was given in honour of the English gardener John Carne Bidwill who collected New Zealand plants.

It is a monoecious tree that can reach 50 metres in height, with the pyramidal top becoming open and rounded little by little. The leaves of the mature trees are arranged radially in the twigs and are bright, dark green. They are lanceolate, have a leathery texture, sharp and pointed; without a midrib but with numerous parallel veins.

The Araucaria Bidwilli was a sacred tree for the aboriginal community. The vernacular name is bunya-bunya. The seed is edible, like the pine nuts, and it was an important source of food for these people.

Its wood is a cream colour and it is easy to work with. It is excellent for interior work such as floor mouldings, and is especially used to make matchboxes, small boats and brooms.

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