Behold the extraordinary Wollemia nobilis. This weird and wonderful member of the Araucariaceae family was thought to be extinct until 1994 when it was discovered in the Wollemi National Park in Australia. What a find!
Wollemia nobilis, or ‘Wollemi Pine’ as it’s often referred to is somewhat of a ‘living fossil’ with Wollemia fossils dating back to around 200 million years. One of its closest relatives is the well-loved Monkey Puzzle Tree, Araucaria araucana and you can see the similarities I guess – they’re both pretty whacky and unusual. The bark is bubbled/ridged and supports elegant branches clothed in thick needles of up to 4cm long which are a very deep green.
This coniferous tree has a slender and upright habit however sometimes it may produce multiple trunks. Wollemia nobilis is monoecious meaning that both male and female reproductive parts (cones in this case) grow on the plant. Perhaps a little scientific however – both the female and male cones are beautiful and add further interest to this fabulous plant. The female cones are rounded and apple green and they are always held at the end of the branches, above the male cones which are more like catkins. The Wollemi Pine has only been in cultivation in the UK for around twenty years however it has proved to be hardy, adaptable and tolerant of many situations.
To get the most out of your Wollemi Pine, we recommend planting in a sheltered position in sun to partial shade, in well drained but moist soil. You may also grow Wollemi nobilis in a container however be cautious and do not over-water.
- Hardiness:Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5).
- Foliage Colour:Green.
- Sunlight:Full Sun, Partial Shade.
- Aspect:North-facing, South-facing, East-facing, West-facing.
- Soil:Fertile, Well-drained, Moist but well-drained
- Ultimate height:12 metres+
- Ultimate spread:4-8 metres
- Time to ultimate height:50 Years