What is the plant
It is an evergreen tree growing to 40 m (130 ft) tall and 1 m diameter at breast height. However, the largest individual, near Nova Petropolis, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil is 147.7 feet (45 meters) in height with a D.B.H. (diameter at breast height) of 12.5 feet (3½ meters) girth. The leaves are thick, tough and scale like, triangular, 3–6 centimetres (1.2–2.4 in) long, 5–10 millimetres (0.2–0.4 in) broad at the base, and with razor-sharp edges and tip. They persist 10 to 15 years, so cover most of the tree except for the trunk and older branches. It is closely related to Araucaria araucana from further southwest in South America, differing most conspicuously in the narrower leaves. It is usually dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate trees. The male (pollen) cones are oblong, 6 cm long at first, expanding to 10–18 cm (4–7 in) long by 15–25 mm (0.6–1.0 in) broad at pollen release. Like all conifers it is wind pollinated. The female cones, which mature in autumn about 18 months after pollination, are globose, large, 18–25 cm (7–10 in) in diameter, and hold about 100–150 seeds. The cones disintegrate at maturity to release the approximately 5 cm (2 in) long nut-like seeds, which are then dispersed by animals, notably the azure jay, Cyanocorax caeruleus.
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