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Norfolk Island

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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

Fly the flag for the Norfolk pine. Found everywhere, from the pot on your neighbor’s windowsill to the inland desert of Tunisia’s Jerba Island, the Norfolk pine originated here and is the island’s emblem.

Norfolk Pine

From the vantage of a Norfolk pine, three scan the horizon for a ship.
Photograph by David Hiser

In its native habitat the pine grows up to 200 feet (61 meters) tall, with a girth described by Captain Cook (who discovered the uninhabited island in 1774) as “more than can be encircled by six men with arms outstretched.” In fact, the pine was a prime reason for the island’s colonization.

Cook mistakenly believed the timber, which is particularly tolerant to salt, could provide masts for King George III’s fighting ships. Now it can be found on the world’s foreshores, a tribute to its hardiness and majesty.

Read “A Mutineer's Paradise” in the September 1999 issue of TRAVELER.

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