Wollemi Pine makes its own bid for immortality

The Wollemi Pine is making its own bid for immortality! An eight year old tree which was propagated in Australia and imported into the UK 18 months ago is believed to be amongst the first tree ever to produce cones in the northern hemisphere. The tree is bisexual (monoecious) with both male and female cones on the same tree. Both the male and the female reproductive structures are produced on separate branches, at the very tips. The female and male cones start growing in mid-summer. In late spring the male cones release masses of pollen which is carried by the wind, to fertilise the egg cells in the female cones. The fertilised ovaries then take about 18 months to develop into seeds and the cones then split and fall apart releasing seeds that float to the ground. We have yet to see a female cone.