Friday, November 07, 2008


The story behind the Norfolk Island Pine...

Did you know that the traditional holiday fir, the Norfolk Island Pine, has a back-story worthy of a Hollywood script? Actually, when you see these delicately shaped pines at your favorite retail store, you’re taking home a bit of nautical history.

Norfolk Island Pines or ‘Araucaria heterophylla’ are native to Norfolk Island, an island in the South Pacific. Their ‘romantic’ history involves a famous sea captain and sultry South Sea Islands.

In 1774, during his second exploratory sea voyage to the South Pacific, Captain James Cook discovered Norfolk Island. On a weary vessel named Resolution, Cook and his crew also discovered stately 200-foot giant pines they named Norfolk Island Pines. They were prized as a source of pine planks desperately needed for ship building and nearby flax for making sails.

Today, like modern day explorers, a few intrepid seed cone ‘hunters’ from Florida travel to the Hawaiian island of Oahu every two years to revisit the grand Norfolk Island Pines that thrive in the warm, tropical breezes and coastal soil.

The harvesters brave dizzying heights of 100 feet to pluck the hardiest seed cones from the whirling branches. The lime-green prickly seed cones are then shipped to Costa Farms south of Miami, where horticultural experts plant them, using 6-8 seeds per pot to assure consistently superior pines for perfect holiday decorating. Read More...

For more information, visit

No comments: