• Monkey Puzzle
  • Glenmoriston Entrance

No Monkeying around!

We don't know who planted it nor when, but the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel Monkey Puzzle Tree is a real landmark on the Ness Bank.

Araucaria araucana is a popular garden tree, planted for the unusual effect of its thick, "reptilian" branches with very symmetrical appearance. It prefers temperate climates with abundant rainfall, tolerating temperatures down to about −20 °C (−4 °F). 

Its piñones, or seeds, are edible, similar to large pine nuts, and are harvested by indigenous peoples in Argentina and Chile. The tree has some potential to be a food crop in other areas in the future, thriving in climates with cool oceanic summers, e.g., Scotland, where other nut crops do not grow well. 

The origin of the popular English language name "monkey puzzle" derives from its early cultivation in Britain in about 1850, when the species was still very rare in gardens and not widely known. Sir William Molesworth, the proud owner of a young specimen at Pencarrow garden near Bodmin in Cornwall, was showing it to a group of friends, one of them – the noted barrister and Benthamist Charles Austin – remarked, "It would puzzle a monkey to climb that". As the species had no existing popular name, first "monkey puzzler", then "monkey puzzle" stuck.

Described as "Living Fossils", Monkey Puzzle trees are now protected throughout the world having been under threat due to logging, forest fires and grazing. 

Our tree is very much loved and here to stay, a real institution!

[Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...]