Lotus grown from millennium-old seed blossoms in south China

Staff
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After lying buried for 1,200 years, a lotus seed has grown into a blooming flower in a southern Chinese city, revealing the ancient appearance of a flower that has featured prominently in Chinese poetry and cuisine.

The lotus, displayed at the Nanning botanical garden in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, grew from one of the three seeds excavated from northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Carbon-14 tests have identified them as around 1,200 years old.

Since May last year, botanists from the Guangxi research institute for subtropical plants have been attempting to revive the seeds. They carefully cut open the seed shells to facilitate sprouting before placing them in a carefully monitored environment. Eventually, two seeds sprouted, and one blossomed for the first time last month.

Lotus is a synonym for purity and integrity in traditional Chinese culture, with a Song Dynasty (960-1279) article lauding it for “rising unsullied from mud,” while its seeds and roots are common ingredients in Chinese cuisine. China has a long history of bringing centuries-old lotus seeds back to life. Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) records have documented the process of reviving petrified lotus seeds of unknown age.

Read more at people.cn

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