“The gaudy leonine sunflower Hangs black and barren on its stalk, And down the windy garden walk The dead leaves scatter,- hour by hour”
September 24, 2010 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Rare fossilised flower found, related to sunflowers. "A 45 million-year-old fossil flower found in northern Argentina has uncovered the evolutionary roots of Earth’s most populous plant family. Image can be viewed here. Called Asteraceae, the family includes dozens of domesticated species — from sunflowers, daisies and chrysanthemums to lettuce, artichoke and tarragon — and some 23,000 undomesticated plants. But despite its ubiquity, Asteraceae’s fossil legacy is sparse, containing little more than pollen grains. A few larger, detailed fossils exist, but they’re relatively young."
posted by Fizz (7 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I played bass in a band called Steel-toed Daisies for a year or two in college. If we could have co-headlined with Petrified Sunflowers... I think I would have liked that.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:13 PM on September 24, 2010

I hope I'm still that pretty when I'm 45 million years old.
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:17 PM on September 24, 2010

They better lock this up in Fort Knox.

The super-villain known as The Squirrel will be flicking his tail over this news. Then there is the Bird Gang.

This find may be more trouble than its worth.
posted by srboisvert at 3:41 PM on September 24, 2010

This was really interesting, thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 4:55 PM on September 24, 2010

What an excellent discovery! Plant fossils are sometimes like the unloved cousins compared to the fauna, so it's nice to see this getting some attention.
posted by Mouse Army at 5:38 PM on September 24, 2010

I like plant fossils. I agree with Mouse Army that they don't get as much love as the animal fossils, which is a pity. Cool article, thank you!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:21 PM on September 24, 2010

And it even looks like a Van Gogh.
posted by rory at 2:35 AM on September 25, 2010

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