Home > Photography > Wollemi Pine
The Wollemi Pine is a "living fossil" species which was discovered in Australia in the 1990s. There is an extensive official site where you can learn about them and order one of your own if you live in Australia, Europe, or a few other places around the world. National Geographic offered them for a limited time in the US, and this is where mine came from, as a gift from my aunt. A few online sources in the US still offer them, but I haven't used them myself so I don't feel comfortable making a recommendation.
Wollemi Pines are very unusual compared to more recently-evolved plants. Their branches are almost fern-like, and if left alone they will usually not subdivide. However, if they are pruned or if a branch is truncated for some other reason (e.g. being eaten by an animal), the branch will divide in two at that point (like the mythical Hydra). This can quickly lead to a very complex shape for the tree.
I have found that mine at least prefers more sun than the care guide recommends (maybe to compensate for living in a temperate region?), so when the weather is above freezing I keep it on a west-facing balcony where it receives direct sunlight for at least 3-4 hours per day.
There are only a small number of Wollemi Pines growing in the wild, and I highly encourage anyone who's interested to pick up one of their own to help reintroduce it into the world.