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Garden Retailer Bid for the Wollemi Pine

The eagerly anticipated horticultural release of the ancient and rare Wollemi Pine is just around the corner. After ten years in high security displays and research facilities, the Wollemi Pine will soon be available to the public to take home and nurture as part of a ground breaking species conservation strategy. Wollemi Australia, the company licensed by NSW authorities to propagate and market the Wollemi Pine, is seeking retail partners to promote and market the famous Pine to the Australian public.

Since its chance discovery in Sydney’s Blue Mountains in 1994, the Wollemi Pine has captured the imagination of not only plant and nature lovers but also members of the general public who are fascinated with natural history, the environment, uniqueness and novelty. It is considered to be a major botanical find in recent history and akin to finding a dinosaur alive today. The Wollemi Pine also symbolises Australia’s rich biodiversity and highlights the need to protect and conserve our unique environment. For many conservationists, it is seen as the “panda of the plant world” as it has the potential to act as a flagship species to promote other threatened plant species.

The media and public interest in the Wollemi Pine has contributed to it becoming an Australian icon and international celebrity. It has been presented as a diplomatic gift by Australian embassies in Europe and Asia and is currently being displayed as a key feature at the Australian Pavilion at World Expo in Japan. Botanic Gardens and Museums around the world are involved in trialing and displaying the Wollemi Pine including Kew Botanic Gardens and the Chelsea Flower Show in the UK and the Smithsonian Institution in the USA.

The excitement surrounding the release of the Wollemi Pine is expected to be unprecedented in terms of public interest in a new plant introduction. The broad appeal and highly versatile nature of the Wollemi Pine from being a unique feature/specimen tree to a patio/pot plant will generate a wave of new customers to retail garden centres. Wollemi Australia believes the Wollemi Pine will be a great opportunity for garden retailers to benefit from the positive brand association of the Wollemi Pine and strong sales of a premium product with long term appeal.

The official launch of the Wollemi Pine is scheduled for October 2005 which will mark the release of the first and limited edition advanced Wollemi Pines. These will be sold directly to consumers by Wollemi Australia. The second edition release involving standard pot plant sized Wollemi Pines available through selected garden centres is expected to take place in April 2006. Wollemi Australia invites interested retailers to submit an Expression of Interest to become an official retailer of the Wollemi Pine. To support appointed retailers, Wollemi Australia will feature retailers as key stockists and assist with promotions and the display of the Pine. Selected retailers will also have the opportunity to display advanced Wollemi Pines prior to public availability.

For more information on the Wollemi Pine, please visit www.wollemipine.com.

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