Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria Heterophylla) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Tree Types Glossary

What is a Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria Heterophylla)?

The Norfolk Island Pine, scientifically known as Araucaria Heterophylla, is a unique and popular evergreen tree that belongs to the Araucariaceae family. Despite its name, the Norfolk Island Pine is not a true pine tree, but rather a member of the Araucaria genus. It is also commonly referred to as the star pine, triangle tree, or living Christmas tree due to its symmetrical shape and resemblance to a Christmas tree.

Where is the Norfolk Island Pine native to?

The Norfolk Island Pine is native to Norfolk Island, a small island located in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. This tree thrives in the subtropical climate of Norfolk Island, where it can be found growing in abundance in its natural habitat.

How does the Norfolk Island Pine grow and what are its characteristics?

The Norfolk Island Pine is a slow-growing tree that can reach heights of up to 200 feet in its natural habitat, although it is typically much smaller when grown as a houseplant. It has a distinctive symmetrical shape with tiered branches that grow horizontally in a whorled pattern around the trunk. The leaves of the Norfolk Island Pine are needle-like and vary in color from dark green to bluish-green, giving the tree a unique and attractive appearance.

What are the uses of the Norfolk Island Pine?

The Norfolk Island Pine is primarily grown as an ornamental tree for landscaping and indoor decoration. Its symmetrical shape and attractive foliage make it a popular choice for adding a touch of greenery to homes, offices, and gardens. In some regions, the wood of the Norfolk Island Pine is also used for construction and furniture making due to its durability and strength.

How to care for a Norfolk Island Pine as a houseplant?

When grown as a houseplant, the Norfolk Island Pine requires bright, indirect light and well-draining soil to thrive. It prefers moderate temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity levels. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, and be sure to avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot. Fertilize the Norfolk Island Pine with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season to promote healthy growth.

What are some interesting facts about the Norfolk Island Pine?

– The Norfolk Island Pine is not actually a pine tree, but rather a member of the Araucaria genus, which is native to the southern hemisphere.
– The Norfolk Island Pine is a popular choice for bonsai enthusiasts due to its compact size and unique appearance.
– In its natural habitat, the Norfolk Island Pine can live for hundreds of years and reach towering heights, making it a symbol of longevity and resilience.
– The Norfolk Island Pine is often used as a living Christmas tree during the holiday season, adding a festive touch to homes and celebrations.