This might be old news to some of you, but it was new to me. In an amazing example of longevity, a seed from a cache of 2000 year old Judean date palm seeds sprouted in Israel.
I love this quote from the article:
“Perhaps one of our ancestors was sitting there on the battlements of Masada eating his dates while the Roman armies were preparing for the final siege and perhaps nonchalantly spitting out a pip,” said Sallon. “Two thousand years later, here I am at Kibbutz Ketura and it’s grown.”
According to the article, Romans called date palm trees Phoenix dactylifera (the date-bearing phoenix”) because of their ability to be reborn in the harsh desert environment where other plants died. Scientists who facilitated the ancient Judean date palm’s sprouting have dubbed the resulting seedling “Methuselah”, a fitting name.
Even if the carbon dating was not completely accurate, there’s no doubt these seeds were ancient by any standard. Pretty cool. 🙂