NOVA: the first flower

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 18:57:17 PDT
did anyone else in the US see the nova episode
tonight, about the paleobotanical research into the
first flowering plants?

ok, that particular topic wasn't that interesting to
me, but i loved getting a glimpse of the Hengduan
mountains in western china and the amazing diversity
of plants there.  they showed prof. Yin Kaipu, of the
Chengdu botanical institute (?), leading Dan Hinkley,
formerly of the heronswood nursery, into a small patch
of weeds near the road, and in that tiny patch, dan
goes bananas with the diversity of plants found there
(something ridiculous like 30 genera).  i couldn't
identify most of the plants, but just the shots of the
Lilium lophophorum (?) and Cypripedium tibeticum were
worth watching the whole thing, and enduring the
segment about the Archaeofructus, DNA, cladistics, and
Amborella...  those shots of western china were sooo
cool...  made me want to become a plant explorer...

tsuh yang

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