The Monkey Puzzle Tree

An unusual thing of beauty!

Sometimes, one comes upon an object that is unusual, that catches the eye. Such was the case of a tree that I saw in the garden of Dunvegan Castle.

Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle treemonkey tail tree, piñonero, or Chilean pine) is an evergreen tree growing to 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) in diameter and 30–40 m (100–130 ft) in height. It is native to central and southern Chile, western Argentina. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Auracaria. Because of the longevity of this species, it is described as a living fossil. It is also the national tree of Chile. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered list by the IUCN in 2013 due to the dwindling population caused by logging, forest fires, and grazing.

Monkey Puzzle Tree

As you can see from the people standing next to the tree, this tree is impressively tall; I would estimate this tree to be between 20-25m tall, which is an impressive sight.

This particular tree stands in the gardens of Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the MacLeod of MacLeod, the chieftain of clan MacLeod. This castle on the Isle of Skye is well worth the visit, as its gardens are a thing of beauty!

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