I almost missed the tree in the pouring rain ( the picture does not show the rain!) but the strange branches caught my eye and then the board with the name. Monkey Puzzle Tree???? I had to take a picture. Wish I had taken a better one, but I was worried the camera would be drenched.
A native of Argentina and Chile the tree is found everywhere in the world! I read there is one in the Ooty Botanical Gardens. The tree is supposed to grow up to 70-100 ft and the shape resembles that of a Christmas tree. The name ( attributed) is thought to have originated in Europe in 1800s when someone is supposed to have remarked that the tree branches would have even puzzled a monkey – it would have to figure out how to climb it! And the name stuck.
Botanical name – Araucaria araucana
Picture taken at Benmore Gardens, Scotland.