18 Prehistoric Plants You Can Still Grow in Your Garden

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Prehistoric Plants are great for bringing vintage vibes to gardens and homes with their evergreen charm and appearance! 

These ancient green wonders, having thrived millions of years ago, offer a unique and awe-inspiring glimpse into our planet’s lush past. As garden enthusiasts, you will absolutely love this list of Prehistoric Plants 🌿🦕

Prehistoric Plants 

1. Allspice

Prehistoric Plants 1

Botanical Name: Calycanthus occidentalis

Age: 66 million years

Allspice, a fragrant shrub, is a survivor from over 66 million years ago. Its aromatic leaves and flowers have been cherished for centuries. You can also use it as a spice in the kitchen.

2. Dutchman’s Pipe


Botanical Name: Aristolochia gigantea

Age: 65-145 million years

With its large, heart-shaped leaves, Dutchman’s Pipe is like a living fossil, dating back millions of years. It is from the Cretaceous period, which makes it 65-145 million years old.

3. Giant Hare’s Foot Fern

Prehistoric Plants 3

Botanical Name: Davallia solid

Age: 300 million years

This ancient plant, more than 300 million years old, showcases delicate fronds resembling a hare’s foot. Its ability to adapt and endure makes it a remarkable choice for your garden.

Fun Fact: The fern gets its name as it has a furry “feet,” like appearance at the ends of its stems. 

Transplanting Ferns the Right Way: Top Tips and Tricks

4. King Protea

Botanical Name: Protea cynaroides

Age: 300 million years

The King Protea, a magnificent flowering prehistoric plant, traces its roots back around 300 million years ago. The plant has impressive, crown-like blooms.

5. Horsetail Restio

Prehistoric Plants 5

Botanical Name: Elegia capensis

Age: 146 million years

Horsetail dates back to the time of dinosaurs, around 146 million years ago. This hardy plant is native to South Africa and has slender, reed-like stems.

6. Black Pepper

Botanical Name: Piper nigrum

Age: 100 million years

Black peppers have been growing for 100 million years, making them prehistoric. This spice-bearing vine from India has a rich culinary history.

7. Staghorn Fern

Prehistoric Plants 7

Botanical Name: Platycerium bifurcatum

Age:300 million years

Staghorn Ferns have unique antler-like fronds and have existed for over 300 million years. Coming from the tropical regions, these ferns have adapted to diverse environments.

15 Spectacular Staghorn Fern Varieties

8. Magnolia


Botanical Name: Magnolia

Age: 20 million years

Magnolia, known for its large, fragrant blooms, is a glimpse into the prehistoric age while beautifying your garden. It dates back over 20 million years.

9. Horsetails

Prehistoric Plants 9

Botanical Name: Equisetum

Age: 50 million years

Horsetails are one of the oldest plants in the world and have been around for over 350 million years. These prehistoric plants have beautiful bamboo-like stalks.

10. Dawn Redwood

Botanical Name: Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Age: 50 million years

Dawn Redwoods, dating back around 50 million years, were once considered extinct until living specimens of these prehistoric trees were discovered in China.

11. Cooksonia

Prehistoric Plants 11

Botanical Name: Cooksonia spp.

Age: 430 million years

Though small in size, Cooksonia plants are one of the oldest we have on our list. The Cooksonia genus existed around 430 million years ago during the Silurian period.

12. Tree Fern


Botanical Name: Dicksonia antarctica

Age: 360 million years

Tree ferns, belonging to the Cyatheales order, have a history dating back approximately 360 million years. It can be a great addition to any garden.

Dicksonia Antarctica Care | Growing Soft Tree Fern

13. Wollemi Pine

Prehistoric Plants 13

Botanical Name: Wollemia nobilis

Age: 200 million years

Wollemi Pine is a rare and pre-historic tree species discovered in Australia in 1994. The plant is also called a “living fossil” and provides a direct link to the age of dinosaurs.

14. Cycads


Botanical Name: Cycadophyta

Age: 280 million years

Ancient seed plants resembling palm trees, Cycads are prehistoric plants you can still grow in the garden. They have been around for approximately 280 million years.

15. Gingko

Prehistoric Plants 15

Botanical Name: Gingko biloba

Age: 270 million years

Gingko trees, also known as maidenhair trees, have a history spanning more than 270 million years. Native to China, their fan-shaped leaves have remained relatively unchanged.

Ginkgo Biloba Tree Facts

16. Ferns

Botanical Name: Filicopsida

Age: 360 million years

With their feathery fronds and ability to thrive in various environments, ferns have adapted over millennia. Many beautiful ferns have existed for over 360 million years.

17. Mosses

Prehistoric Plants 17

Botanical Name: Bryophyta

Age:470 million years

Mosses, simple yet prehistoric plants, have been part of Earth’s ecosystems for approximately 470 million years. These plants play essential roles in various habitats.

How to Grow Spanish Moss | Spanish Moss Care and Growing

18. Lycopods

Botanical Name: Lycopodiopsida

Age: 400 million years

Lycopods are prehistoric species that look like miniature trees, reaching only 1 foot tall. These plants have grown for nearly 400 million years.

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