March 19, 2018

Monday Geology Picture: A Living Fossil Tree

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

The majestic Wollemi Pine — it certainly looks like a tree that grew during the time of the dinosaurs! And it did grow at that time!

Today is my last day in Australia. Today, my family, some friends, and I spent a few hours exploring the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. There are many beautiful and amazing plants in the garden. However, one plant in particular caught my eye: the Wollemi Pine, which is considered a living fossil because until the tree was discovered in the 1990s it was only known from the fossil record. The Wollemi Pine is critically endangered, with only few wild trees remaining in remote sandstone gorges located about 150 km outside of Sydney. While wild trees are uncommon, cultivated trees have become fairly common. In fact, you can buy your very own Wollemi Pine tree in the garden gift shop. I didn’t buy one because I live in South Africa, but if you’re in Australia you should consider buying one to add to your garden.

Here’s a sign board with a little more information about the tree:

Sign board next to the tree. Click to enlarge.