The Araucaria angustifolia is very much integrated with the local communities with deep dependencies of its timber in the past and its "pinhão" nowadays. Festivals are named after it, several culinary delicacies include its "pinhão" and even names are originated from it. The Capital of the Parana State, Curitiba was named after it (One theory is that the name "Curitiba" comes from the Tupi Guarani words kurí tyba, "many araucária seeds" due to the large number of Paraná pines pinecones in the region prior to its founding). The symbols below, including the State of Parana Flag and Coast of Arms, feature the Araucaria angustifolia.
Araucaria angustifolia, the Paraná pine, Brazilian pine or candelabra tree (pinheiro-do-paraná, araucária or pinheiro brasileiro), is a critically endangered species (CR) in the conifer genus Araucaria. Although the common names in various languages refer to the species as a "pine", it does not belong in the genus Pinus.
Covering an original area of 233,000 square kilometres (90,000 sq mi), it has now lost an estimated 97% of its habitat to logging, agriculture, and silviculture. It is an evergreen tree growing to 40 m (130 ft) tall and 1 m (3 ft 3 in) diameter at breast height.
The seeds, similar to large pine nuts, are edible, and are extensively harvested in southern Brazil (Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul states), an occupation particularly important for the region's small population of natives (the Kaingáng and other Southern Jê). The seeds, called "pinhão" are popular as a winter snack. Several cities in the region holds a popular pinhão fair, in which boiled or grilled Araucaria seeds are consumed. 3,400 tonnes (7,500,000 lb) of seeds are collected annually in Brazil. It is also used as a softwood timber in stair treads and joinery. The species is widely used in folk medicine.
We are working on this new project focused on avoiding the extinction of an icon: the Araucaria angustifolia. In partnership with IDEAS for Us of Orlando and the Royal International Miss Organizations, we are wirking with Manu from Cascavel and the If You Can Dream Foundation Ambassadors Dorival and Meire to create a series of events that will have the objective of saving this iconic tree from extinction.
We are preparing a series of tree planting events to raise awareness of the critical situation that the Araucaria angustifolia is. The first planting event will be lead by Manu herself in Cascavel, Brazil.
The first phase of the work, though, is to know the Araucaria angustifolia and its importance for the local community.