Thinking of starting your own Jurassic Park? Fancy a living fossil in your garden? Well we've got just the plants for you.
The Japanese Umbrella pine Scadiopitys verticillata. This slow growing but ultimately quite large tree is a true living fossil with no close relatives, and is present in the fossil record for about 230 million years.
This single member of its genus is restricted only to Japan, occurring on Honshu (Aichi, Fukushima, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nagano, Nara, Okayama, Wakayama), Shikoku, Kyushu (Myazaki). It is most abundant on the island of Shikoku, on the Nara Peninsula and in the mountains NE of Nagoya (both in Honshu).
It was introduced by the Dutch, who at the time were the only Europeans allowed to trade with Japan, and brought it to Java early in the nineteenth century and subsequently introduced into the UK by John Gould Veitch in September 1860.
It is IUCN Near Threatened.
We also have two baby Coastal Redwoods Sequoia sempervirens (also known as the California redwood).
This sole member of its genus was growing around 160 million years ago, and interestingly also grew in Europe until 5 million years ago.
If you want a gift that will last, consider that these trees can live 1,200 to 2,200 years (yes you read that right!) This species includes the tallest living trees reaching up to 115.5 meters (379 ft) in height (without the roots) and up to 8.9 meters (29.2 ft) in diameter.
Now that's a serious investment!
IUCN classified as Endangered.
Plant one. Make a statement.