Wollemi *Araucaria*

Ken Hill Ken_Hill at RBGSYD.GOV.AU
Fri Nov 24 08:46:55 CST 1995

     A couple of points in response to the questions raised by Fred Rickson
     in this forum, and others privately:

     1. `Pine' as a common name is generally used for members of the genus
     Pinus in the Northern Hemisphere. European settlers in the Southern
     Hemisphere in the 18th and 19th centuries felt the need to retain some
     familiarity with their former homes, and used many Northern Hemisphere
     vernacular names for quite different organisms, be they plants, birds,
     fish etc. Consequently, `pine' has been used in Southern Hemisphere
     countries for a range of different conifers that are not even in the
     same family as the Northern Hemisphere pines. Many of these common
     names are listed in Dallimore & Jackson's handbook of conifers,
     published in England. Other Araucariaceae in Australia are known as
     `Bunya Pine', `Hoop Pine' and `Norfolk Island Pine', with `Klinkii
     Pine' in New Guinea, and `Plum Pine' for Podocarpus. `Wollemi Pine'
     was a name chosen because some name was needed for the public
     announcements and conservation actions, and a botanical name was not
     then available. It also fitted with the above local usages, which,
     after all, are what vernacular names are.

     2. Distinguishing characters that define the new genus are given in
     the forthcoming publication. In summary, some characters are shared
     with Agathis, some are shared with Araucaria, and others are unique.
     Morphological cladistics do not resolve relationships, but our DNA
     studies indicate that the Wollemi Pine is a sister to Agathis, not
     Araucaria. Internal seed-cone morphology is also much more similar to
     that of Agathis.


     Ken Hill                                  email:  ken at rbgsyd.gov.au
     Senior Botanist                           phone:     +61 2 231 8160
     National Herbarium of NSW                   fax:     +61 2 251 7231
     Royal Botanic Gardens
     Sydney NSW 2000, AUSTRALIA

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