Plantidote of the Day 2012-11-19
Bunya bunya, bunya pine, false monkey puzzle tree
A big, impressive tree, the bunya bunya is an Australian native that does well in mild climates. The one above, growing in a botanical garden in Zone 10, is probably 30 feet tall. Bunyas are tracked by Australia's National Register of Big Trees. The largest known diameter is 215 cm, or about 84 inches around. Height-wise, the largest recorded measures 51.5 meters, or about 170 feet tall. So they're not giant sequoias, but they're pretty big.
Bunya pines produce oversized pine cones containing edible nuts that are distributed by a critter known as the short-eared possum (Trichosurus caninus; and please click on the link, you won't be sorry!). The photograph above doesn't really do the tree justice, but there are lots more images of the trees, bark, and pine cones (unfortunately, no additional possum pics) here.
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