AppearanceThe Cook pine, called Christmas Tree in India, can reach 60m in natural habit, but is more commonly grown as a house-plant in pots. The relatively short, mostly horizontal branches are in whorls around the slender, upright to slightly leaning trunk. The branches are lined with cord-like, horizontal branchlets. The branchlets are covered with small, green, incurved, point-tipped, spirally arranged, overlapping leaves. The young leaves are needle-like, while the broader adult leaves are triangular and scale-like.
The female seed cones are scaly, egg-shaped, and up to 6 inches long. The smaller, more numerous male pollen cones are at the tips of the branchlets and are scaly, foxtail-shaped, and 2 inches long. The bark of the Cook pine peels off in thin paper-like sheets or strips and is rough, grey, and resinous. The trees have a slender, spire-like crown and look like unusually tall, thin Christmas trees.
The Cook pine is often confused with the Norfolk Island pine because they have a similar appearance.
Naming''Araucaria columnaris'' is among the most common Araucarias planted as an ornamental tree and street tree in warm temperate climates. It is cultivated in gardens and public landscapes in Queensland, northern New Zealand, southern California, Mexico, and Hawaii.
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