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Pine cones bely evolution of flowers

by webdev

December 15, 2010

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a new study this week that links all existing flower species to their common ancestor, the pine cone.

"Water lilies and avocado flowers are essentially 'genetic fossils' still carrying genetic instructions that would have allowed the transformation of gymnosperm cones into flowers," co-lead researcher Doug Soltis said.

According to the research, the common ancestor that sprouted the millions of flowering species 130 million years ago was a gymnosperm, a type of seed-bearing plant that produces cones for reproduction, best exemplified by the pine cone. In order for this to occur, a genetic change must have happened which allowed male cones to produce female organs, or signature flower petals.

Pine cones can also make wonderful seasonal additions to bouquets and flower arrangements. According to, you can even manipulate pine cones to look like flowers by cutting off the scales and gluing them together like petals on a plastic base. Add miniature pine cones to the stems in place of leaves.

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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