The dinosaurs might have died out millions of years ago, but many of the plants alive during that time still survive today! Some are the sole surviving species of their genus or family, and remain virtually unchanged from prehistoric times. Current conservation efforts aim to preserve these species for many years to come.
Moss. Believe it or not, many species of moss have been around for about 470 million years. Today we use moss in food, horticulture, medicine, home decor, and more applications. It’s so versatile that you can utilize moss in a variety of garden settings or even bring it indoors to decorate your home.
Gingko tree. Dating back 270 million years, the gingko tree is still widely cultivated due to its brilliant yellow leaves. Also known as the maidenhair tree, gingkos are the sole surviving member of the plant division known as Gingkophyta.
Agathis. These ancient coniferous trees date back to about 350 million years ago. Most members of the Auracariaceae family became extinct due to the same event that wiped out the dinosaurs, but a few such as the Agathis persevered. Today the wood of these trees is used in yacht construction, house construction, manufacture of ukuleles and guitars, and much more.
Horsetails. Today, about twenty species of Horsetail still survive from their prime time about 300 million years ago. They exist all over the world, but especially in the non-tropical areas of the Northern hemisphere. These unique plants are used in food, medicine, herbal remedies, and wood polish.
Cycads. Cycads date back 280 million years, and perhaps even farther back than that. Not only are they an ancient species; an individual Cycad can live for up to 1,000 years! Their distinct appearance makes them popular ornamental plants, but they are also used in medicine, gum, fiber manufacturing, and even oil production.
If you’re interested in cultivating a prehistoric garden space, you can be sure these plants will make an eye-catching focal in your yard! Give us a call if you’re considering a new installation, and we can help you select hardy, long-lasting ornamental plants that will stand the test of time.