Wonders of the Wollemi

Wollemia nobilis

While visiting the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, we were really excited to check out the Wollemi Pine. We love pretty much any tree in the Araucariaceae family, but this guy is extremely rare. It was first discovered in 1994 near Sydney, Australia in the Blue Mountains.

Matti getting excited

We had never even heard of this cool tree until a few weeks ago, while watching a documentary about the Chihuly glass installation at Kew Gardens. Kew keeps their Wollemi in a big metal cage, Berkeley lets their two specimens roam free.


Eventually this guy will grow up to 65 feet, with a 3 foot wide trunk. Fossils date the Wollemi back 90 million years. It’s amazing to think that they hung out with the dinosaurs.

Map to the Wollemi

Matti created this beautiful graphic with the help of his iphone, sharpie marker, and a post-it note to help you locate it. I asked a gardener where it was, and she pointed us in the right direction. Matti gets the prize for finding it first.

Getting closer

For tons more information about this cool tree check out WollemiPine.com. A few years back National Geographic had them for sale, but we haven’t been able to track any down. Our friend Rob at The Pitcher Plant Project in Pacifica would love to get his hands on one for his prehistoric garden. Any leads would rock!

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