One of the greatest living fossils discovered in the 20th century. The Wollemi pine is now classified as critically endangered in Australia due to habitat loss.
In both botanical and popular literature the tree has been almost universally referred to as the Wollemi pine, although it is not a true pine (genus Pinus) nor a member of the pine family. It is in the same family as the Monkey Puzzle Tree found in Chile.
As one of the oldest trees, known only to exist through fossil records, it was discovered in 1994 by David Noble, a ‘bushwalker’ with considerable botanical knowledge, in the Blue Mountains just 200kms west of Sydney. With less than 100 adult trees now known to exist in the wild, Botanical Gardens around the world help secure the survival of this exciting find by nurturing specimens such as the one you see here. Wollemia is a genus of coniferous tree in the family ‘Araucariaceae’ and molecular studies suggest it is possibly related to the monkey puzzle, their ancestry dating from a time when Australian, South America and Antarctica were linked as a supercontinent known as ‘Gondwana’ many millions of years ago. *
*Content provided by Susan Lee, VanDusen Guide