Nursery to nurture rare Wollemi pine
ONE of the world's rarest plants is going to be sold commercially in Central Queensland by Yeppoon's Stephen and Cheryl Pickering.
The Wollemi pine was discovered in 1994 at Wollemi National Park, 200km west of Sydney, and Yeppoon nursery Picko's Plants has been selected to take orders for the plant.
There are less than 100 adult trees in the wild.
With the assistance of the Queensland Department of Primary Industry's forestry section, Queensland Forestry Research Institute, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Services, the Wollemi Pine Conservation Club began plans to conserve and propagate the plant in 1998.
The plant will be released for commercial sale in April and Picko's Plants owner Stephen Pickering said he and his wife Cheryl had sent an application in after expressions of interest were called.
"We have had the nursery for 11 years now and this is the first time we have been picked for something like this.
"This pine was the biggest thing in the plant world for years when it was discovered in 1994 and people have compared it to finding a dinosaur.
"We are lucky to be one of the 100 stockists for the Wollemi pine and the only one for Rockhampton, Yeppoon and the Central West.