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Introducing the Wollemi Pine

The Wollemi Pine dates back to the time of the dinosaurs.

In September 1994, modern day explorer David Noble, an officer with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, came across some trees he didn’t quite recognise. In a deep, narrow canyon of the rugged wilderness of Wollemi National Park, he learnt of what is now called the Wollemi Pine, Wollemia nobilis.

The significance of the Wollemi Pine is that its evolutionary line was thought to be long extinct. Scientists have been undertaking research to learn about this unique and ancient plant to ensure its long-term survival.

As part of the conservation strategy, researchers at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, began developing propagation techniques to establish a collection of plants for further research, translocation and to provide plant material for sale. Wollemi Pine trees continue to grow in their natural habitat and now also in botanic gardens, parks and people’s gardens throughout the world.

View the image gallery to follow the journey of the Wollemi Pine from sighting of the wild population in 1994, research and its protection, to being able to purchase potted Wollemi Pine plants today.

Read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Wollemi Pine.

Introducing the Wollemi Pine activities

  • Use a storyboard to visually map out the scientific journey undertaken for the Wollemi Pine. Commence with the initial scientific interactions with the wild population to the successful growth of Wollemi Pines in botanic and home gardens today. Add captions or speech bubbles to outline how scientific knowledge was acquired (through field and laboratory research) and applied. 
  • Imagine being David Noble, the person who accidentally came across the Wollemi Pine, a tree that hadn’t previously been scientifically described. You are on foot on the canyon floor. Report what you observed to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Use first person voice to write or verbally describe your observations of the Wollemi Pine and its habitat.
  • Alternatively, imagine being Michael Sharp, collecting seed cones hanging in a harness from a helicopter. You have a bird’s eye of the Wollemi Pines and their habitat. Share your observations of the Wollemi Pine and its habitat in writing or verbally using first person voice.