Friday 20 June 2008

The tenacity of seeds

Seeds are survivors. This one has germinated in the old drainpipe above my water butt.

As my post of out-of-date seeds seems to have gone down well I thought it was worth pointing out this story from The Guardian earlier this week. A new record has been set for the world's oldest viable seed ... a date palm from the edge of the Judean desert, which germinated in a research facility in Jerusalem. The seed surfaced in an archaeological dig and has been dated at around 2000 years old.

What's interesting is how different it is from current cultivars. "The ancient date palm differs from modern Moroccan, Egyptian and Iraqi varieties at around half of the 399 genetic markers the researchers looked at."


Kath said...

Thanks for bringing this to people's attention, Rebsie. Things DO change over time, even though we aren't aware. Keep saving those seeds people. We need all that genetic diversity!

pomly said...

Wow 2000 years! That blows my mind!

Matron said...

Really fascinating stuff! Looks like that seedbank in northern Norway will be earning its keep then?