in response to questions about living fossil on plant list

maholland at SAE.SSU.UMD.EDU maholland at SAE.SSU.UMD.EDU
Fri Dec 16 11:50:48 EST 1994

From:	MX%"Ken_Hill at RBGSYD.GOV.AU" 14-DEC-1994 21:00:42.54
Subj:	New "living fossil" find in Australia

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Reply-To: Ken Hill <Ken_Hill at RBGSYD.GOV.AU>
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From: Ken Hill <Ken_Hill at RBGSYD.GOV.AU>
Subject: New "living fossil" find in Australia
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     A small stand of trees that are considered to represent a third living
     genus of Araucariaceae was discovered by New South Wales National
     Parks and Wildlife officers in late 1994. This, now known as the
     "Wollemi Pine", occurs in a deep, very wet and very sheltered gorge in
     the Wollemi National Park, in a rugged mountainous area within 200 km
     north-west of Sydney in eastern Australia. With only about 20 adult
     trees in a single stand, it is one of the rarest trees in Australia.
     Of the other extant Araucariaceae, it appears closest to Agathis, but
     it has many features in common with Cretaceous and early Tertiary
     fossil groups such as Araucarioides. Staff of the Royal Botanic
     Gardens, Sydney, in conjunction with National Parks officers plan to
     describe and name the new genus and species in 1995 in the journal
     "Telopea". Studies of DNA and detailed morphology are also in progress
     at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, together with investigation of
     vegetative and tissue culture propagation. It is, however, unlikely
     that plants will become available in less than two years

     Ken Hill                                internet: ken at
     Senior Botanist                           voice:     +61 2 231 8160
     National Herbarium of NSW                   fax:     +61 2 251 7231
     Royal Botanic Gardens
     Sydney NSW 2000, AUSTRALIA

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