Think You Can Identify This Plant? No. 43 – September 2008

Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner

If you know the genus and species of this month’s mystery plant, you could win a free year’s subscription to Fine Gardening . Send your entry, along with your complete mailing address, by September 30, 2008 to [email protected] . The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries.

Photo/Illustration: Colleen Fitzpatrick

Last month’s mystery plant was Araucaria araucana, otherwise known as the monkey puzzle tree or Chilean pine. This distinctively-textured evergreen is a common sight in the Northwest, whose climate perhaps mimics this tree’s native range on the Chilean side of the Andes. It grows to 80 feet tall and 30 feet wide, is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 11, and prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil.

Patricia Svedberg of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was chosen at random from all correct entries to receive a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening. Congratulations, Patricia!

What eLetter subscribers have to say about Araucaria araucana:

“This tree has fascinated me ever since I saw one in Italy many years ago.”
-Nadine Thacker, Shelby Township, Michigan

“I want to try one in my Z7a garden sooo bad.”
-John E. Webb II, Boones Mill, Virginia

“I first saw one in a botanical garden in Oregon–it is unforgetable!”
-Brenda Woodliff, Austin, Texas

“It is indeed a rather weird looking evergreen.”
-Joyce Blanton, Lambertville, Michigan

“I wish I had one!!”
-Margaret Thorpe, North Lawrence, Ohio

“Very spiny! I made the mistake of helping a neighbor hang Christmas lights on his a few years ago.”
-Ken Whipple, Kirkland, Washington

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