Monkey Puzzle Tree

Did you know the seeds from monkey puzzle trees are edible? Latin name Araucaria araucana.
I’ve been out collecting the fallen seeds around my neighborhood in Seattle a few times recently. Boiled for 5 to 10 minutes, and then cut open, they taste similar to a roasted chestnut.
They are native to a small area in the Andes of central Chile and over the border into Western Argentina. The trees are usually diocecious, meaning there are separate male and female trees. So if you see a tree with no seeds, it may be a male, or perhaps a female that is not within pollination range of other trees.
 

A typical and healthy Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) in Seattle.

A typical and healthy Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) in Seattle.


The spiky leaves would "puzzle a monkey" as to how to climb the tree.

The spiky leaves would “puzzle a monkey” as to how to climb the tree.


Individual seeds from the Araucaria.

Individual seeds from the Araucaria.

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