Far Out Flora

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!


  1. How sad, we must have walked right by it with out even realizing what we were seeing!

  2. *drewl*… ahh! thanks guys… i contact a couple people recently too, hope to have some leads soon… but WOW… to be in the presence of a wonderful wondernormus Woolemi-saurus!! DUDE! how awesome is that!! *cue Jurassic park theme music* ^-^

  3. That’s wild, I didn’t know anything about it until just last night, it was described in the last chapter of the book I wanted to finish.

    From what Google fetched me off the Internet, your not the only folks who want one. At the prices being quoted, I don’t see one in my immediate future. Seems even National Geographic is involved in selling them. I’d actually be more interested in seed…

    Here’s a link to what appears to be a fairly comprehensive site: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/plant_info/wollemi_pine

    Good Luck!

    • Thanks Thomas! I learned about these plants back a few years ago. Funny how throughout the years some of my carnivore grower friends would run into someone here in the US who would have the plant and would have extras for distribution, but by the time that they tell me about it – there would no longer be any left. :( I hope I can help in the conservation and distribution of these awesome plants! Cheers!

  4. Hi Guys,
    I can get you this plant if you’d like. Just give me a buzz at FGG — 415-694-6445.

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