Science: Long-Lived Lotus

Long-Lived Lotus When two of his lotus seeds sprouted and began pushing out leaves last spring, no one was more surprised than Dr. George W. Harding of the National Capital Parks in Washington. The young plants looked perfectly normal. But the seeds, collected by a Japanese scientist named Ichiro Ohga, had been picked out of a Manchurian peat deposit and were claimed to be 50,000 years old. Most botanists were skeptical. The lotus seeds keep their vitality for a long time, they said, but 150 or 200 years is about the limit.

While the...

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