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Sunday, August 12, 2007

News Flash - The Origins of Sunflowers

My cousin Kendra is a biologist, and now has some progeny as well. (If you can't tell, I like playing Scrabble). Kendra contributed some information about sunflowers:

"A recent paper showed that they were domesticated from their wild ancestors in North America about 10,000 years ago-- much earlier than previously thought. They are from a plant family (Asteraceae) with incredibly high diversity. The picture you have of "daisies" is another member of that family, Rudbeckia hirta, native to North America and now in horticultural production."

Rudbeckia hirta it is -- as long as they don't turn into rutabeggas that hurt you.

Ok so if they've been around for 10,000 years -- doesn't that make you wonder?

Perhaps the mammoth greystripes are a breed that were like munchies for dinosaurs, and the dinosaurs went away, but the sunflowers stayed around.

10,000 years is probably enough time to develop a latent form of conscious that awakes when you add 50% peat moss and 50% poo as fertilizer . . .