Cliffhanging 5: Dwarf mountain pine
This video introduces you to the unique story of the threatened Dwarf mountain pine. Although it outlived the dinosaurs it is now clinging to existence around cliffs of the Upper Blue Mountains.
Dwarf mountain pine (Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii) is an endangered plant that only occurs in the upper Blue Mountains. This conifer is a Gondwanan-age species, a survivor from a time before flowering plants even existed and when dinosaurs roamed the earth more than 200 million years ago.
This living fossil provides a rare glimpse into life on Earth long ago. Today, only 755 individuals are known to exist. This species is only found in the spray zones of water falls and seepage lines on the cliff faces between Wentworth Falls and Katoomba. It is thought that the plant has hung onto existence in this spot because the waterfalls acted as nature's fire blanket and protected it from being burnt.
See Saving our Species videos for 4 more very special cliff-dwelling plants of the same area.