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Perennials/what is this plant?

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my xmas gifts to myself
my xmas gifts to mysel  
Hi there, me again, I was hoping you could help me by identifying this plant - I bought a bunch of them & gave most of them away for christmas gifts to friends & co-workers but kept these three - unfortunately I can't find the id tag that was with them - many years ago I bought one for my dad & it grew up & out & was humungous, I ended up giving it away when my dad died because I didn't have the room for it - if you could let me know what it is & any other information about it I would really appreciate it - also, is it possible to plant this one outdoors, would it survive our winters here in southern ontario? thanks so much & I hope to hear from you soon, sincerely, Jutta (the diplandenias are downstairs in the spare room & sending out shoots like crazy, I look forward to taking them outside again)

Answer
Hi Jutta,
Nice to hear from you again.  I'm sorry it took so long for me to acknowledge you.  I went on vacation and forgot to put myself in that status.  Thanx for your question.

It looks to me like you have some Norfolk Island Pine seedlings.  Araucaria heterphylla  Here's a link below.

http://www.hortmag.com/weekly-tips/qa/norfolk-island-pine

This is a tropical plant native to Norfolk Island near Australia.  You can see some beautiful specimans in Hawai'i over 100 feet tall.  You can also see them in South Florida and Southern California.  Another tree similar to them is the Cook Island Pine which I have seen on Maui.  Another beautiful tree.  These trees will not grow outdoors where temperatures consistently fall below 50F/10C.  

The plants are commonly sold as Christmas gifts and are easy to raise indoors.  Water them enough to keep them from completely drying out and make sure they get consistent sunlight from an eastern or southern exposure.

You'll have to treat this one as a houseplant but they seem to be relatively easy to care for indoors and they are beautiful to look at.  I hope this helps.
Tom

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Tom Alonzo

Expertise

I have been a gardener for 20 years with perennials both growing from seed and from nurseries. I went through the Master Gardener Program from Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service and I answered questions on the Hotline a few years ago for the Wyandotte County Kansas Extension Service. I have also lived in the Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and Missouri and am experienced with a variety of climates, soils and weather conditions.

Experience

I have been growing perennials for over 20 years now. I am self-taught mostly except for a master gardener class. I have experimented with all kinds of perennials including many that are not common to my area. I have read hundreds of books and grown hundreds of varieties of plants and hope to make it a business some day. I have become versed in botanical names and growing conditions and what I don't know off of the top of my head I can usually easily find in my vast array of research material and botanical and horticultural contacts. I especially enjoy experimenting with growing plants out of zone.

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