This family consists of some 38 species of trees in 2 genera — Araucaria Juss. and Agathis Salisb. They are distributed over the Southern Hemisphere but are not native to Africa.
Several Araucaria species yield useful timber, whilst Agathis species are noted for the resins that may be obtained from them.
Araucaria araucana K.Koch, the monkey puzzle tree, and Araucaria heterophylla Franco, the Norfolk Island Pine, are commonly seen in cultivation.
The timber from certain Araucaria species has caused dermatitis as has the resin from Agathis species. Some Araucaria species are capable of inflicting mechanical injury because of their armament of sharply pointed leaves.
The 20 species are natives of the region extending from Indochina and western Malaysia to New Zealand.
Several species furnish copal and dammar resins from which varnishes may be prepared (Usher 1974). Copals may also be obtained from a variety of other plants, including species of Bursera Jacq. and Canarium L. in the family Burseraceae, and Copaifera L., Hymenaea L., and Trachylobium Hayne in the family Leguminosae. Dammars are also produced by Canarium species (fam. Burseraceae) and Hopea Roxb. and Shorea Roxb. species (fam. Dipterocarpaceae).
Contact sensitivity to copal is noted under Trachylobium (fam. Leguminosae). Dammar used in adhesive plaster has also caused dermatitis (Prosser White 1934).
This species yields an attractive timber which does not withstand weathering.
Klauder & Gross (1951) note that this species may cause dermatitis. Woods & Calnan (1976) describe a carpenter who showed positive patch test reactions to this wood, as well as to ramin (Gonystylus Teijsm. & Binnend. species, fam. Thymelaeaceae), teak (Tectona grandis L.f., fam. Labiatae), epoxy resin, and wood and coal tars.
This species may cause unpleasant injuries to those foolish enough to climb it. The tree is armed with rigid sharply pointed leaves.
The leaves have sharp points. The nuts are said to have caused asthma (Cleland 1943).
This tree has needle-like leaves, some with sharp bristle-like points (Corner 1952). The timber is listed as having caused dermatitis (Anon 1926).
[Information available but not yet included in database]