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Mountain flower has world's largest genome

by webdev

December 14, 2010

Scientists were surprised to discover that Paris japonica, what the U.K. Telegraph describes as an "unremarkable and rather slow-growing plant," boasts the world's largest genome at 50 times the size of our own.

Found in parts of Japan and the U.K., the relatively simple-looking flower's DNA is actually the longest, most complicated sequence on the planet. One cell's worth of genetic information for the flower could stretch for 328 feet, versus the meager 6.5 feet of information coiled in a human cell, reports the news source.

"When we started looking at the plant on our machine to measure genome size it was clear there was something odd about Paris japonica. When we worked out just how big it was, I was staggered. I had to keep checking to be sure. It is amazing how the cells pack all of that DNA in there," Dr. Ilia Leitch told the Telegraph. She added that the size of an organism's genome is not necessarily an indication of its relative complexity.

Mountain flowers can make a surprisingly beautiful addition to a bouquet or flower arrangement. Some American West Coast varieties in particular include cliff larkspur, green-banded mariposa lily, Jacob's ladder, Jeffrey's shooting star, mountain owl's clover, white bog orchid and queen's cup lily, according to

This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists.


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