a 2,000-year-old seed is reproducing!


Date palm grown from 2,000-year-old seed is a dad

Melissa Breyer (@MelissaBreyer)

Science / Natural Sciences March 27, 2015



CC BY 2.0 Dr. Avishai Teicher/Wikimedia Commons

Break out the cigars! Long the only lonely representative of its kind, the Judean palm in now reproducing and giving researchers a unique glimpse back in time.

Talk about perseverance, not to mention the mastery of nature’s design when it comes to plants. Decades ago a 2,000-year-old seed was plucked from an archaeological excavation near the Dead Sea. After many years lingering in a researcher’s drawer in Tel Aviv, Elaine Solowey, director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, decided to give germination a go. Ten years later, and “Methuselah” (why don’t all plants have names?) is thriving. And not only thriving, but reproducing. Mazel tov! Read more.