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The A to Z of TV Gardening – Letter M

The A to Z of TV Gardening – Letter M: Carol Kirkwood takes an alphabetical journey through the world of gardening, getting inspiration and advice from some of the BBC’s most popular garden presenters and programmes.



 

 

In this episode, she is exploring subjects that all begin with the letter M. Marvel at the oddity that is the monkey puzzle tree. Alys Fowler is mesmerised by magnolias and a marigold enthusiast.

 

The A to Z of TV Gardening – Letter M

 
Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, monkey tail tree, piñonero, or Chilean pine) is an evergreen tree growing to 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) in diameter and 30–40 m (100–130 ft) in height. It is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Because of the prevalence of similar species in ancient prehistory, it is sometimes called a living fossil. It is also the national tree of Chile. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered by the IUCN in 2013 due to the dwindling population caused by logging, forest fires, and grazing.

The leaves are thick, tough, and scale-like, triangular, 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) long, 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) broad at the base, and with sharp edges and tips, rather similar to the leaves of the unrelated succulent plant, Crassula muscosa. According to Lusk, the leaves have an average lifespan of 24 years and so cover most of the tree except for the older branches.

Magnolia

Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. It is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol.

Magnolia is an ancient genus. Appearing before bees did, the flowers are theorized to have evolved to encourage pollination by beetles. To avoid damage from pollinating beetles, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are extremely tough. Fossilized specimens of M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae date to 95 million years ago.

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The A to Z of TV Gardening - Letter M
Title
The A to Z of TV Gardening - Letter M
Description

In this episode, she is exploring subjects that all begin with the letter M. Marvel at the oddity that is the monkey puzzle tree.