Araucaria excelsa (syn. A. heterophylla)

Norfolk Island Pine . Those who like conifers could not choose a lovelier one for home decoration than the Norfolk Island Pine, with branches arranged in regular tiers and fresh green needle-like leaves. This araucaria, like the other 17 species of the genus, is native to the southern hemisphere. It takes its name from the island of its origin. All Araucarias have evergreen, needle-like leaves and large cones that disintegrate when fully developed. A. bidwillii of Australia has the largest cones; these may be up to 30 cm (12 inch) long and 23 cm (9 in) across.

Norfolk Island Pine is not difficult to grow. It requires rather cool conditions; in winter a temperature of 5°-10°C (41°-50°F), or even less. Water liberally in summer and mist the entire plant regularly. If you have a garden, plunge the plant into the ground in a shaded location in the summer. It does not tolerate direct sun. Repot after two to three years in early spring before new growth starts, but take care not to disturb the root ball. >/?Ssk /.

Sometimes removing the top layer of compost and replacing it with fresh compost will suffice. Be sure it does not contain lime. Feed with organic fertilizer only if the plant has not been repotted for a long time.

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