Saturday, 12 April 2014

After trip to space, cherry trees mysteriously blossom years ahead of schedule

It's that time of year when cherry blossoms draw crowds across the world, but a few cherry trees this year have sprouted a mystery. Four cherry tree saplings across Japan blossomed this spring, about six years ahead of schedule. The trees all come from a selection of seeds that took a trip to the International Space Station in 2008 as part of an experiment. Over 250 seeds made the trip, and while many are being studied in labs, 14 were planted around Japan after spending eight months in space. The trees were expected to blossom in 2018 (this variety usually takes ten years to sprout), but a few had a big surprise in store this spring.
Scientists are now scratching their heads to try and figure out the premature blossoms. Kaori...
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