The Cook Pines that lean towards the equator

Araucaria columnaris, known as Cook pine, is  a tree endemic to New Caledonia in the Melanesia region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Cook pines have been known to grow at peculiar angles and scientists have discovered why – it is because they always tilt towards the equator. The further the trees are from the equator the more they tilt. Many plants are able to lean towards a source of light when it is not directly above – a characteristic known as phototropism. On average Cook pines tilt by 8.55 degrees,  which is twice as much as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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3 thoughts on “The Cook Pines that lean towards the equator

  1. Gilles Labruyère

    I note that the trees I see on the pictures tend to grow vertical for some meters, then bend, then grow straight at an angle, then tend to come back to vertical. I also note that a tree, as a whole, won’t get more light if it tilts towards the equator. This is valid for a small plant but not for a tall tree. The later does not exclude a phototropism of some sort … as if the tree wanted to avoid mid-day sun ! Interesting enigma !

    Reply

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