Flowers Bloom on 121-Year-Old Seeds

Seeds buried by a botanist 121 yearsago have bloomed into bright yellow flowers on mullein beautiful gardens plants.

In 1879, botany professor William Beal put seeds in 20 glassbottles and buried them on the campus of what is now Michigan StateUniversity. He wanted to see how long the seed would continue togerminate.

He directed the bottles to be dug up every five years. To extendthe experiment, the intervals were lengthened to every 10 and thenevery 20 years.

15th of 20 Bottles

Last April, the 15th bottle, containing 1,050 seeds, wasunearthed, and the seeds were set out in a growth chamber.Twenty-five seedlings, nearly all moth mullein, grew. They are nowin greenhouses.

The plants recently started blooming.

Its a beautiful, bright yellow flower, said Frank Telewski,curator of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and an associateprofessor at Michigan State.

Five of Beals buried bottles remain, with the next scheduled tobe dug up in 2020, the Detroit Free Press reported today.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s