Resurrected from the Past: Ancient “Dinosaur Trees” Thrive in Secret Australian Gardens
Thought lost to time for millions of years, the Wollemi pine, a living fossil nicknamed the “dinosaur tree,” is experiencing a remarkable comeback in hidden sanctuaries across Australia.
Dating back over 90 million years, the conifer with needle-like leaves was presumed extinct until a rediscovery in 1994. With only 89 individuals remaining in the wild, conservationists faced an uphill battle.
Enter the “top-secret locations,” protected havens where hundreds of Wollemi pines have been nurtured over the past three decades. This secret project, dubbed “the botanical find of the century,” aims to secure the future of this critically endangered species.
Despite their ancient lineage, these trees grow at a glacial pace, adding less than a centimetre to their height each year. Yet, with meticulous care and strategic planting across multiple sites, their population is gradually increasing.
This resurgence offers a beacon of hope for other threatened species. It exemplifies the dedication of conservationists and the ingenuity of programs like this, ensuring these living fossils continue to grace our planet.