Letter | Published:

Araucaria Cones

Subjects

Abstract

IN answer to the Duke of Argyll's inquiry respecting the coning of the Araucaria imbricata in the British Isles, I beg to state that there have been, within my own cognizance, several instances of the same during the last thirty or forty years in this country, notably at Maresfield in Sussex, at Bicton in Devonshire, and especially at Chatsworth. The famous avenue of them at Chatsworth frequently produced cones during the last ten years of the trees' existence prior to 1860, when the memorable severe frost on Christmas Eve completely destroyed the whole avenue, despite the artificial screens of branches of evergreen shrubs that had been annually adopted for their protection from severe winterly weather, so I have been informed by a trustworthy eye-witness, who also stated that the cones produced by the trees in question always proved seedless. The trees, curiously, were all females, and had no opportunity of impregnation. In further reference to the diœcious character of this genus of Conifers, I am informed that the Maresfield trees, as indicated, failed to produce fructiferous cones until males were planted within suitable proximity to them. Pertaining, further, to the sexuality of the Araucaria, I believe that a distinguishing character exists in the size of the foliage, that of the conebearer being considerably the larger.

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