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Araucaria angustifolia

Araucaria angustifolia of the family Strangeriaceae. Many vendors include Araucaria braziliana as being parana pine, but Araucaria angustifolia is by far the predominant species sold under that name, at least in the USA. Obviously, despite the name "pine" as part of the common name, and the fact that is LOOKS like pine, this species is not a true pine (genus Pinus).

Closely related to monkey puzzle / Araucaria araucana and more distantly related to a group of other Araucaria species which are sold as Norfolk Pine and which have end grain characteristics that are noticeably different from monkey puzzle and parana pine.

A note about Araucaria "pine" species: there are shared common names among these. This list shows how they are used on this site (which I belived to be the most common usage) along with some alternate common names to show some of the possible confusion:
  • monkey puzzle
    • Araucaria araucana = monkey puzzle, monkey puzzle tree, Chilean pine, monkey puzzle pine
  • Norfolk pine
    • Araucaria columnaris = Cook's pine, Norfolk island pine, Norfolk pine, New Caledonia pine
    • Araucaria cunninghamii = monkey puzzle, hoop pine, Moreton bay pine, Norfolk island pine, Queensland pine
    • Araucaria heterophylla = Norfolk island pine, Cook's pine, island pine, Norfolk pine
    • Araucaria hunsteinii (syn Araucaria klinkii) = klinki pine, hoop pine, Norfolk island pine
    • CLOSELY RELATED: araucaria bidwillii = monkey puzzle tree, false monkey puzzle tree, bunya pine
  • parana pine
    • Araucaria angustifolia = monkey puzzle tree, Brazilian pine, parana pine
    • Araucaria braziliana = parana pine

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting --- colors will vary under other lighting conditions

both sides of a sample plank of parana pine / Araucaria angustifolia --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

plank and end grain. This plank was contributed to the site by a correspondent who wanted help in identifying it. He said it came from a pallet from an overseas ship in the 1970's. It is a heavy, moderately hard wood that you can dent with a fingernail, but just barely and it's 45 pounds per cubic foot. When I got the plank, it had a very heavy patina of both dirt and age, and I think had I sanded it down a bit further it might not still look so dirty.

I thought it was a pine (sure looks line one, doesn't it) but the hefty weight made me somewhat doubtful, so I had it on the Mystery Wood page for a couple of years as Mystery Wood #167. Correspondent Drew Nyman sent me the following: "mystery wood 167 Is parana pine. (no doubt about it) It came primarily from Brazil. It's almost impossible to find anymore. It was commonly used for cabinets and drawers until the mid 80s when it all but disappeared from the market from over use. The knotty parts of the tree were used for crates mostly while the knot free areas were used for lumber. It's well known for its red and pink streaks I used to use the large knots as coasters"

end grain closeup from both ends of the piece directly above

web pics:

plank with wet and dry sections

plank end grains

planks specifically listed as parana pine / Araucaria angustifolia

plank specifically listed as parana pine / Araucaria angustifolia and with a color that is unlikely (too rich for a raw wood color, which it is supposed to be)


door saddle

two views of a folding table with a finish