Arauco was the region in Chile where the first species was discovered, and it gives name to this slender tree, very cultivated in gardens for its beautiful pyramid shape.
Its seeds were eaten by the Araucanian Indians, the Mapuche, one of America's indigenous peoples who much resisted to the Spanish conquerors. Alonso de Ercilla, in his epic poem La Araucana (1569) tells us with fantasy the war between the two sides that took place there. Trees, and Indians are largely still living in this area of the Southern Cone of America.
The Spaniards of the eighteenth century, as part of the expeditions organized by the enlightened king Charles III, explored with scientific purposes the territory of origin of this tree, part of the Viceroyalty of Peru. However, the tree was introduced in Europe in 1793 by an Englishman, Joseph Banks, the famous botanist, among other things, for being one of the scientists who accompanied Captain James Cook on his first trip to the South Seas, who ‘officially’ discovered Australia and New Zealand.