The big evergreen tree on the corner of the lawn
opposite the herbaceous borders
The monkey puzzle tree is an evergreen conifer native to
Argentina and Chile. It was introduced to England in 1795 by
Archibald Menzies; a plant collector and naval surgeon on Captain
George Vancouver's circumnavigation of the globe.
The common name Monkey Puzzle refers to the fact that the
task of climbing the tree, with its with spiny leaves, would puzzle
even a monkey.
The scientific name Araucaria araucana comes Spanish name
Araucanos, given to the Mapuche peoples from Chile who consider
monkey puzzles to be sacred.
The edible seeds, are still harvested today, made into a flour,
and used to make a fermented beverage (muday).
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