Botanical Wednesday: Doesn’t look a day over 25,000 to me

This is a plant germinated from 32,000 year old tissue recovered from permafrost. I’ll take their word for it, but I’d still like to see some ID.

(via NatGeo)

(Also on FtB)


  1. Brownian says

    So, if this plant grew from dirt, then why is there still—fuck it, that wasn’t going to be anywhere near as funny as I’d hoped.

  2. StevoR says

    Well, I’m no judge of age then! Looks like it could’ve sprouted just a few weeks or so ago to me.

    That’s one seriously impressive achievement when you think about the length of time the seeds have been frozen for.

  3. Larry says

    How very Jurassic Park.

    Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should

    What could possibly go wrong?

  4. 4004bc says

    Today a pretty little plant from seeds in a frozen squirrel burrow…
    Tomorrow Triffids, my visions for the future are working at last.
    Now all we need is the croco-mammoth to keep these little plants in check…

  5. Zugswang says

    Jerry Coyne posted about this a few days ago; it’s a really cool study done by some Russian scientists, and these ancient plants have managed to produce offspring, as well.

    The only thing the study was missing was an attempt to cross it with its modern-day descendants.

  6. craigore says

    32000 years old???? Do you actually mean that one day I can have my very own pet wooly mammoth?!

  7. JohnnieCanuck says

    Not only that, but its descendants appear to have evolved over the time span it was frozen.

    Note that they didn’t manage to germinate the seeds directly. They found viable tissue attached to the embryo and cultured it.

    Lots more info at the link to Jerry Coyne’s blogwebsite.

  8. chrisplount says

    I see a pretty little white flower but I hear Christopher Plummer singing in the Alps. Of course I’m three large Scotches into the evening…so there’s that.

  9. nemothederv says

    Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and…”

    Wait, you mean it’s not an Edelweiss?
    It’s a weed that growsgrew…grows in Siberia?
    Meh. Guess I’ll put the curtains back up.

  10. kieran says

    I’d want to see the genetics as well, plus I get the feeling I’ll need to learn the method as it’s going to be used by creationists to show that plants could survive a global flood.

  11. catnip67 says

    As long as its not a global flood of mammoth seed.

    Did I say that out loud?


    What’s in this wine?

  12. says

    This clearly shows that the Bible is right, and science wrong. The fact that the seeds did germinate proves that they can’t be as old as 32.000 years, but at the most 6.000.

    Please note that the above is just a preview of what will soon be read on all godbot blogs.

  13. says

    craigore@#12 I heard they are already thinking of doing the mammoth project (no pun intended). You know how that would turn out.

    I haven’t heard what the comparable current species of that plant might be, thought I think I’ve seen similar flowers at our local botanical garden, if not in the wild.

    Any botanists out there?

  14. David Marjanović says

    I’m curious. How much would these plants differ from their current wild counterparts on the genetic level?

    That’s all explained in the paper.

  15. DLC says

    Of course that plant material isn’t 32,000 years old. I mean, sure, it could survive the flood and all, if conditions were right. . . but you just know they can’t carbon date it accurately. . .

    Okay, I’ve had my coffee now. Brain started up and in gear. what did I write ? Oh, my! Creationism, while I was still half asleep! This is serious. Previously I only denied the existence of Hawking radiation while I was still half asleep. I’m going to have to see my doctor about this.

  16. craigore says

    @John & Grumpy
    I’m hearing a 6 year time frame between now and first clone. Have to admit, it’s got me feelin’ pretty giddy.