Araucaria bidwillii (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Araucaria bidwillii Hook.

Protologue: Araucariaceae

Vernacular names

  • Bunya pine, bunyabunya (En)
  • Philippines: bunya pine
  • Thailand: son nam (Central), bunyabunya.


Australia (Coast District of Queensland); introduced and planted in South-East Asia and other tropical and subtropical regions mainly as an ornamental.


The resin exuding from wounds is quite hard and brittle and has a pleasant odour. It can be used like incense and be employed in making perfumes and unguents. In Australia the seeds are valued as food or eaten roasted as a snack. Locally the tree is of commercial value as a Christmas tree. The wood can be used for timber like that of other Araucaria species, especially for interior work. In SouthEast Asia A. bidwillii is mainly planted as an ornamental tree.


Large, usually monoecious, evergreen tree up to 45 m tall and up to 1.5 m in diameter; bark up to 15 cm thick, rough, dark brown to black, resinous, outer bark scaling off in thin layers. Leaves clustered at the end of branches, needle-like, entire, sessile, glossy green, discolorous, on sterile twigs lanceolate, 13-50 mm × 5-10 mm, apex a long, stiff point; on fertile shoots and higher branches leaves are shorter (up to 25 mm) and incurved. Inflorescence a cone; pollen cones cylindrical, up to 17 cm × 1 cm, situated towards the end of the branches in groups of 15-20; seed cones situated terminally on a shoot with modified leaves, ellipsoidal, up to 30 cm × 22 cm, weighing 4-8 kg, scales with thick, woody wings, apex scales with long, recurved point, cones disintegrating when mature and each cone containing about 150 seeds. Seed pearshaped, 57 cm × 3 cm, seedcoat fused with its scale; germination hypogeal, cryptocotylar. A. bidwillii prefers a moist but welldrained, fertile soil, but it will grow on poorer soils when moisture conditions are favourable. In southeastern Queensland it prefers the higher elevations (800-1000 m altitude), with annual rainfall of about 1000 mm and a temperature range from below 0°C up to 30°C. Its growth is rapid and it does not suffer from serious diseases or pests. The seeds were so important as food resource for the Australian aborigines that the right to collect the seeds from certain trees used to be claimed by individual families who passed on this right from father to son. Bunya pine produces a heavy cone crop only once every 3 years.

Selected sources

3, 4, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 25, 39.