Kleingartenverein Bornholm II e.V. 

From Another World - the Chilean Araucaria

South America in Pankow

The araucaria captivates with its bizarre growth. In lot 28 there is a particularly beautiful specimen of the Chilean araucaria, also known as the snake tree, Chilean decorative fir or Andean fir. The tree originally comes from the Andes, a mountain range in the South American coastal region of Patagonia, which extends over parts of Chile and Argentina.

The araucaria belongs to the oldest tree family in the world. Fossil finds of related species date to an age of 90 million years. Individual specimen can live for more than 1000 years. This evergreen tree can grow to heights of 30 to 50 meters and reach trunk diameters of up to 2 meters. The high-quality wood of the araucaria is used, among other things, for building houses, boats and bridges. The indigenous Indian tribes use the seed kernels (piñones) as food.  Similar to an almond, the shell can be peeled off the cooked seeds. They taste like a mixture of potato, almond and peanut.

The araucaria was made famous in Europe by the biologist and physician Archibald Menzies around 1795. Especially in the British Isles, but also in other mild areas of Europe, it is planted as a park and ornamental tree due to its idiosyncratic appearance. This specimen of the exotic tree was planted in Bornholm II in 1996.  Hopefully it will decorate this allotment garden for many hundred years to come.

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