New Respect for Old Foe


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One of the books I'm reading now is titled: A Gardener's Guide to Florida's Native Plants
Authored by Rufino Osorio

I came across a part of the book that claimed that some seeds of the beggar's tick (Bidens alba) were recovered from a Spanish treasure ship, which sank back in 1622. When placed in a cup of fresh water, the 365-y/o seeds germinated and produced normal, healthy plants.

I know this plant very well, although I refer to it using the common name of Spanish needle, but it's the same plant that goes by numerous common names, but it is the Bidens alba.

If there's one plant that prevents me from having a maintenance-free garden, it's this plant. I've read before that one plant produces up to 6,000 seeds most of which are highly viable and can last years in the soil. And from all my observations -- IT IS TRUE!!

However, I'd never expect these seeds to survive over 300 years under the sea, so I checked out the story and this is what I found.

BTW, this plant is an excellent (I emphasize EXCELLENT) plant to attract pollinators; all types of bees and butterflies. However, it will completely take over my garden if I do not cut it back.


http://articles.latimes.com/1987-06-28/news/mn-531_1_seeds

Excerpt:
"Malcom said that when he sifted the seeds out of the mud and put them in fresh water, one of them sprouted. Eventually four of the seeds sprouted, and he planted them, two of which are still living. They have been tentatively identified as plants of a variety of weed called beggar's tick, or Bidens alba. The weed is common in the Caribbean."



Here's a little data on the plant: https://floridata.com/Plants/Asteraceae/Bidens+alba/898

And here's a Wikipedia article on the Spanish Galleon ship recovered: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuestra_Señora_de_Atocha
 
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That is so interesting...remarkable. That Arctic seed too ( in the article) sprouted after 10,000 yrs!!!:eek:
 

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