Wollemi Pine Conservation Program

Dr Catherine A Offord, Dr Edward Liew, Dr Brett Summerell, Patricia Meagher, Heidi Zimmer and Jessica Rigg
Project partners:
Office of Environment and Heritage, University of Melbourne, Western Sydney University
Catherine A Offord

Project aims

  • Understanding how this species grows in the wild and in cultivation
  • Investigating germination requirements and seedbanking potential 
  • Banking seeds that can be conserved by seedbanking and developing alternative conservation measures 
  • Providing plants for display, interpretation and reintroduction 
  • Passing on lessons learned to the wider community


The Wollemi pine is one of the greatest botanical discoveries of our time.

Project Summary

The ‘Dinosaur tree’ or ‘living fossil’, the Wollemi pine is certainly one of the greatest botanical discoveries of our time. Since its discovery in 1994 much has been learnt about this ancient plant and its relationship to its living Araucariaceae relatives. But there’s a great deal to learn about this rare plant, not least to ensure its survival. The Recovery Team for the Wollemi pine has a number of collaborative research projects looking at various aspects of the Wollemi Pine; and there are a number of other research projects underway.

Research Update

Major research projects involving staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, in collaboration with other institutions, are outlined here - just click on any of them to check out the latest research. 


Tracking the Wollemi Pine through time
Determining its age
Wood anatomy
Fungal associations & pathogens
A search for genetic variation
Monitoring the population
Propagating the Wollemi Pine
Seedling growth
Seed germination
Embryological (seed) development


When was the Wollemi Pine discovered?
Why was the discovery of Wollemi Pine so extraordinary?
What are the Wollemi Pine Facts & Figures?
How old and what’s the ancestry of Wollemi Pine?
What does the Wollemi Pine look like?
What is unusual about the bud formation of Wollemi Pine?
What is the coppicing habit of the Wollemi Pine?
Why does Wollemi Pine shed branches?
How do the leaves of Wollemi Pine reduce water loss?
What is the sex life of Wollemi Pine?
What is the ecology of the Wollemi Pine?
Where is the Wollemi Pine found – what’s it’s habitat?
Why was the Wollemi Pine propagated for sale?
How can I grow Wollemi Pine?
How is the Wollemi Pine being protected in the wild?
Where can I find research papers and articles?