Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

What dead flowers tell us about the future of life on Earth

T his wildflower bloomed in the low pine woods along North Carolina's Tar River. The blossom, called a pink lady's slipper, was plucked nearly nine decades ago - on May 16, 1936 - and stored away.

This pair of pink lady's slipThese from 1997 had blossomed by mid-April, a full month earlier than their counterpart 60 years before.

These from 1997 had blossomed by mid-April, a full month earlier than their counterpart 60 years before.

By poring over nearly 200 of these pressed orchids, collected by botanists between 1886 and 2022 and stored in drawers at Duke University's herbarium and elsewhere, scientists found that the flowers are now blooming 12 days earlier on average than they did 150 years ago. At this rate, the orchids may eventually bloom before bees are fully out and about, cutting the chances that pollen catches a ride to other pink lady's slippers and that plants procreate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2024/06/08/duke-herbarium-plant-life-records/

 

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