It's the Plants, Darling

200-Year-Old Seed Startled To Wake Up In 21st Century

Old_acacia_seed Seeds tucked in the 1803 notebook of a Dutch merchant have been successfully germinated at Kew Gardens, according to the BBC.

A bean, a protea, and an acacia emerged from their long sleep, but not without a little help.  To mimic the conditions found in the wild, scientists simulated fire by nicking some seed coats and blowing smoke over them.

According to news reports, the plants are less than thrilled with their twenty-first century surroundings.

"Frankly, I was hoping we’d spend another couple centuries snoozing away in that library," said the bean.  "That Dutch guy had some big idea about planting me by the millions back in Europe, but I told him to leave me out of it. I didn’t want the publicity.  And now look at me–I’m on the BBC. I’m just a bean, for crying out loud!  You people are media-obsessed.  Can’t a plant have some privacy?"

The acacia agreed.  "These so-called scientists want to keep feeding me and feeding me until I get Kew_seeds big enough for them to do genetic testing on me.  They’re hoping to find out if I’m different from my modern-day counterparts.  Am I different!  Hello?  Have you seen those hip-huggers these girls are wearing?  It’s shameful.  I don’t even want to meet those trees.  I heard they’re planning a family reunion, but I told them I’d rather be tossed on a compost pile."

Only the protea showed any interest in life in the Internet age.  "Have you Googled me lately?" the protea asked.  "I’m a cut flower now!  Chicks in New York are paying top dollar for me!  I’ve got an agent negotiating a development deal with HGTV.  The bean tried to talk me into doing a boring old lecture series instead, but I told him that is so two centuries ago."

HGTV was not available for comment.

Posted by on September 20, 2006 at 7:54 pm, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.
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2 responses to “200-Year-Old Seed Startled To Wake Up In 21st Century”

  1. chuck b. says:

    I can’t find a link, but a year or two ago I read a report about a scientist using giberellic acid to germinate 2000-year-old fig seed found in a tomb somewhere in the mid-east.

  2. Jenn says:

    My uncle the archeologist had 500 year-old corn in his garden one year. Seeds are amazing.

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