Day 321 – The oldest example of grave flowers has been discovered in Israel. An ancient burial pit dating to nearly 14,000 years ago contained impressions from stems and flowers of aromatic plants such as mint and sage. The new find "is the oldest example of putting flowers and fresh plants in the grave before burying the dead," said study co-author Dani Nadel, an archaeologist at the
Day 322 – Flower petals breaking through the snow, an early hint of spring's arrival, hides a very complex genetic process behind its floral façade. Flowers know when to bloom because of a gene named Apetala1. A lone master gene, Apetala1 triggers the reproductive development of a plant, telling it when it's time to start blossoming. Yes, a single gene is all it takes to make a plant start producing flowers. A plant blooming with flowers has an Apetala1, while a plant carrying inactive Apetala1 genes has very few flowers, if any, with leafy shoots growing in place of blossoms.
Day 324 – If you've ever taken a late-night stroll through a garden, you may have noticed that certain flowers, much like people, tend to retire after the sun goes down. But flowers that close up at night, such as tulips, hibiscus, poppies and crocuses, aren't sleepy. They're just highly evolved. Plants that tuck themselves in for bedtime exhibit a natural behavior known as nyctinasty. Scientists know the mechanism behind the phenomenon: In cool air and darkness, the bottom-most petals of certain flowers grow at a faster rate than the upper-most petals, forcing the flowers shut.
Day 325 – Science has proven it! Flowers make people happy! We of course knew, but read on… The first study involved 147 women. All those who got flowers smiled. Make a note: all of them. That's the kind of statistical significance scientists love. Among the women who got candles, 23% didn't smile. And 10% of those who got fruit didn't smile. We still like candles and fruit, but flowers make people the happiest!