Wollemi Pine

Wollemi Pine

Common name Wollemi Pine
Botanical Name Wollemia nobilis
Family Araucariaceae
Natural range That’s a secret
Mature height to 40m
Form Pyramidal-tall conifer
Likes Acidic, organic soil
Dislikes Hot, windy conditions
Where to plant Cool, shady gully if possible.
Known for Being a living dinosaur

The Enigmatic Wollemi Pine: A Living Dinosaur Among Us

How often does it happen that a simple hike unfolds a mystery as old as the dinosaurs? Not often, right? Yet, that’s precisely the captivating tale of the Wollemi Pine, an ancient tree species that shook the botanical world in 1994.

Where Did the Wollemi Pine Come From?

The discovery of the Wollemi Pine, botanically known as Wollemia nobilis, in an isolated canyon in New South Wales is akin to stumbling upon a dinosaur wandering about in a secluded forest. The explorer behind this astonishing find was Dave Noble, an ardent hiker. Intrigued by the sight of an unusual 40-meter tall tree, Dave collected some samples. Little did he know that he was on the verge of an epoch-making botanical discovery.

How Was the Wollemi Pine Identified?

The task of identifying the peculiar tree brought botanists a conundrum. Initially mistaken for a bird-spread exotic species, the sample was compared to every known living tree globally, leading to a dead-end. In an unexpected twist, the mysterious tree turned out to be a living fossil, the Wollemi Pine. Quietly thriving in a remote canyon, this tree has remained unchanged for over 100 million years.

Preserving the Past: What Measures Are Taken to Protect the Wollemi Pine?

Following this revelation, significant efforts have been set in motion to protect these ancient trees. Licenses to propagate the tree have been issued to select commercial nurseries, not only for conservation but also to discourage unauthorized collection of seeds or seedlings from the secret original location.

Furthermore, clones of the mature Wollemi Pines from the Wollemi National Park are securely held in the Australian PlantBank, serving as a botanical insurance policy. Unlawful access to the original grove attracts hefty fines and even imprisonment, demonstrating the severity of the threat to these trees.

Can You Grow a Wollemi Pine at Home?

Remarkably, you can! Wollemi Pines are surprisingly adaptable, tolerating temperatures from -5°C to 35°C, although they prefer cooler conditions. Plant your personal piece of prehistory in rich organic, slightly acidic soil for best results.

Intriguing Facts about the Wollemi Pine:
  1. Wollemi Pine is a living fossil, unchanged for over 100 million years.
  2. Its discovery in 1994 is one of the 20th century’s most significant botanical finds.
  3. The tree’s natural range is a closely guarded secret to protect it from potential threats.

Links for Further Reading:

  1. The Discovery of the Wollemi Pine
  2. The Conservation of the Wollemi Pine
  3. Cultivating the Wollemi Pine at Home
More From our Collection

Need to learn about something else? Try some of these:

Back to the TreeFuture main page
Scroll to Top