Science: Toward Control of Growth

Amid the gently rolling countryside of Beltsville, Md., there is a strange garden that would drive any weekend horticulturist to distraction. Among the odd sights: pine trees that grow only 8 in. tall, chrysanthemums that flower in spring instead of fall, poinsettias that bloom in June's heat instead of Christmastime cold. But these plant anomalies are manmade. For U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have discovered the mysterious chemical in plants that regulates plant growth, have found that they can stunt trees at their pleasure, make flowers bloom when they choose.

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