Sunday, January 4, 2015

In Bloom

White Waterlily, Nymphae adorata, North Park Lake, Pittsburgh, 2014

The waterlily belongs to one of the oldest species of flowering plants, Amborella, dating back 140 million years.  It makes sense, since land plants first migrated from shallow pools of water to land.  The rise of flowering, or angiosperm, plants and trees coincides with the rise of mammals, a neat dove-tail in evolutionary trends owing to food production and seed dispersal.  Angiosperms provided a food source by way of nuts, seeds, grains, and fruits, while the mammalian consumption of same ensured that the seeds were deposited away from the parent plant, preferably in a nutrient rich mound of stool.  Although we don't eat waterlilies, all parts of Nymphae adorata are edible, with the tuberous rootstock being the most nutrient rich.

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