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Posted Jan 22 2009 6:26pm

Araucaria heterophylla

On my drives around the Tampa Bay area I saw a most beautifully shaped conifer with widely spread branches and triangular outline. Good thing my friend knew a little about the flora in Florida and identified it as a Norfolk Island Pine.

Yes, the same pine you've probably purchased in a pot for a small indoor Christmas tree. Reading up on it I found that it grows well in pure sand but is very frost sensitive and can be damaged at temperature below 40 degrees.

When is a pine not a pine ? The name is misleading as the Norfolk is not a pine but a very ancient confer that covered the earth during the Jurassic period. Norfolk Island, off the Australian Coast where this conifer originates, displays it on its flag, as shown above.
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