Plants evolved seeds to hack time. Thanks to seeds they can cast their genes forward into the future, enabling species to endure across seasons, years, and occasionally millennia.
When a 2000-year-old extinct date palm seed was discovered, no one expected it to still be alive. But it sprouted a healthy young date palm.
That seeds produced millennia ago could still be viable today suggests seeds are capable of extreme lifespans.
Yet many seeds, including those crucial to our everyday lives, don’t live very long at all. In The Age of Seeds Fiona McMillan-Webster tells the astonishing story of seed longevity, the crucial role they play in our everyday lives, and what that might mean for our future.