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An Araucaria Resource Guide

Articles: An Araucaria Resource Guide

The ancient araucaria family (Araucariaceae) contains three genera (Araucaria, Agathis and Wollemia) and forty-one species of cone-bearing trees native to forested regions of the Southern Hemisphere, including South America, Malesia, Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. During the Jurassic Period, the family had an extensive distribution in both hemispheres, extending as far north as England, Greenland, and Sweden. In majestic size and beauty, araucariads rival the grander members of the pine family (Pinaceae); both families are conifers (Pinophyta). Fossil evidence indicates that ancient araucaria forests resembling present-day species date back to the age of dinosaurs. Today, araucaria forests are limited to the Southern Hemisphere and are considered a counterpart to the pine and spruce forests of the Northern Hemisphere.

Today, various members of the Araucariaceae appear in gardens and public landscapes up and down the length of the West Coast. Generally large trees, most are ill suited for the small private garden. Some, such as the species of Araucaria and Agathis from New Zealand, Australia, and New Caledonia, thrive in the relative warmth of California; others, such...

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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