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Bunya Pine - Araucaria bidwillii

 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I saw this mentioned in passing on a Geoff Lawton video.

Did some digging but found very little info out there online.

It is a slow growing, long lived, nut bearing pine tree native to Australia. It appears hardy outside of it's native zone, but I've struggled to find evidence of it here in the UK. The nut/seeds are big and drop in cannon ball sized husks weighing up to 20lbs. Don't stand under them!

Seed supplier



They look really interesting for zone 5 food production.
 
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Some more detailed or interesting links I found:

http://permaculturenews.org/2013/11/27/the-bunya-bunya-pine-araucaria-bidwillii/ (this one suggests a very wide potential range, although there's very little info about range in North America specifically, which is my immediate interest)

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/54481/#b (features lots of horrified homeowners appalled by the sharp leaves and bombarding cones of doom. Suggests hardiness to zone 8b only. Lists North American sightings all of which are in California, Florida, and Texas.)

http://www.cloudforest.com/cafe/gardening/anybody-got-bunya-pine-nearby-t1797.html (more anecdotes and speculation tending to put hardiness to about zone


http://southeastgarden.com/araucaria.html (this site calls it "marginally" cold hardy to 8b, and includes an anecdote of a tree in Texas killed by temps of 15F. Lowest I've seen here in 10 years is 12F, so it doesn't sound like a tree for me.)
 
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