Sometimes referred to as the Chile Pine, this ancient slow growing tree is well known for its distinctive long slender branches densely covered with overlapping spiking leaves.
Introduced into the UK in 1795 by Archibald Menzies, the famous Navy surgeon who later turned plant collector, it won the Award of Merit in 1980. Amazingly enough, it was once a native of Britain as the jet deposits in Northern England that Queen Victoria coveted so much illustrates. Hardy in the UK, they are often planted far too close to houses, so have to be removed before they get to maturity.
This unusual conifer prefers a moist loamy soil and has great apical dominance drawing the tree up strongly vertical so it is very suited to crown lifting. Try not to handle the foliage unless you are well protected as the leaves are very sharp! The cones are globular, up to 20cm in length and take up to three years to mature.
Mature height: 20m+