Araucariaceae (araucaria family) Araucaria

Araucaria cunninghamii hoop pine

New South Wales, Queensland, New Guinea

Australia’s largest conifer, reaching 100 feet in cultivation and 200 feet in the wild, hoop pine resembles Norfolk Island pine, especially in the characteristic cage-like arrangement of the leaves. It is a principal species for planting as a crop.

One is at the south end of the Arizona Garden, an area satisfactory for cactus, but not ideal for a tree accustomed to a 40- to 60-inch annual rainfall. A second old hoop pine is about 100 yards east of the Mausoleum entrance, and a 3-foot youngster is on the Art Gallery’s south side (planted August 2003). A handsome old specimen, perhaps 60 feet tall, is at Burgess Drive and Laurel Street in Menlo Park, near the civic center. Nearby is a bunya bunya tree.

Albert Wilson listed the individual at south end of the Cactus gardem in his 1938 book, Distinctive Trees, Shrubs, and Vines in the Gardens of the San Francisco Peninsula, as 30 years old, 60 feet tall, and in poor condition (p. 26).

Name derivation: Araucaria – Araucani Indians of central Chile; cunninghamii – Allan (1791–1839) and Richard (1793–1835) Cunningham, British brothers, Kew collectors in Australia.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings added the Wilson note ca. 2008.