These strange looking conifers provide a distinctive silhouette with their evenly spread tiers of stiff branches. Most have stiff, closely overlapping, dark to bright-green leaves. All do well in a wide range of soils with adequate drainage.
Make impressive skyline trees and are seen in that role in many parks and old estates, especially in California, but they become so towering that they really do need the space they have in a park or large, open property. Not trees to sit under: with age they bear large, spiny, 10–15-lb. cones that fall with a crash. They thrive in containers for several years, even in desert areas.
Native to Chile. Arboreal oddity whose heavy, spreading branches and ropelike branchlets are closely set with sharp-pointed leaves. Slow growing in youth. Hardiest of araucarias.Araucaria bidwillii
Native to Australia. Moderate growth; broadly rounded crown supplies dense shade. Juvenile leaves are glossy, rather narrow, 3/4–2 in. long, stiff, more or less spreading in two rows; mature leaves are oval, 1/2 in. long, rather woody, spirally arranged and overlapping along branches. Unusual houseplant; very tough and tolerant of low light.
Native to Norfolk Island, near Australia. Grows moderately fast to 100 ft. tall and 60 ft. wide, with a pyramidal shape. Juvenile leaves are rather narrow, 1/2 in. long, curved, sharp pointed; mature leaves are somewhat triangular, densely overlapping. Can be held in pots for years—outdoors in mild climates, indoors anywhere. Popular as a Christmas tree in Hawaii.
Group of about 200 species grown mainly for their flowers’ long, silky stamens (the blossoms loo...
Both species described here (one of which bears edible fruit) are Chinese natives with large, prominen...
Native to the subtropics and tropics, Pteris includes many small evergreens that are used in ...