NOVA: the first flower

J.E. Shields
Wed, 18 Apr 2007 05:27:14 PDT
Hi all,

Yes, I watched the NOVA program too, because I've long been interested in 
the origins of the angiosperms (flowering plants).

And if I were 20 years younger, I'd want to go plant exploring in China 
with you!  Are Paige W. and Jim Waddick still putting on their plant tours 
to China?

The monocots are now apparently thought to be a somewhat later branch from 
the original dicot line of early angiosperms.  I think they were once 
thought to be a basal angiosperm group -- a mistake it seems, based on DNA.

There is a note in the March 31 issue of "Science News" (a weekly 
newsletter or magazine) about what was thought to be a primitive grass, 
Trithuria (Family Hydatellaceae), but which has turned out to be a very 
primitive angiosperm, and quoting Doug Soltis, who was also shown on the 
NOVA program.

It is really very satisfying to see thing coming together in a consistent 
way, as paleobotanists piece together the history of the angiosperms.

Jim Shields
in sunny, mild central Indiana (USA) where it seems to once again be springtime

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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