In September 2000, Australia added to its unique list of flora and fauna after the discovery of a species of tree dating back at least 90 million years. The Nightcap Oak tree of Australia is now one of the world’s oldest trees. It was thought to have died out, till a grove of about 25 trees was discovered in the Nightcap Range rainforest near Byron Bay, 650 km from Sydney and identified by botanist Robert Kooyman. The tree has since been put on the endangered list and its location is a closely guarded secret. Some 30 years ago, unidentifiable leaves were collected by botanist Jeff Tracey. In 1988, more specimens of the strange leaves were picked up by Kooyman but it was not until 2000 that the tree was found. The tree has not undergone any basic changes in structure over the centuries. It has dark green leaves, small nuts and small white flowers which grow in dense clumps. The flowers smell faintly of sweet aniseed. The tree grows about 40 metres tall. The largest trees have a circumference of more than 75 cm. The tree belongs to the Proteaceae family, the other members of which are the native Australian banksias, waratahs, macadamias and grevilleas and South Africa’s proteas.
Below is sample of the Fossil flower art