News of the WeekPALEOBOTANY

Fossil Plant Hints How First Flowers Bloomed

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Science  03 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5569, pp. 821
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5569.821a

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A remarkably well-preserved fossil from China promises to unveil the murky ancestry of the most diverse group of plants, the angiosperms, in a surprising way. The 125-million-year-old plant--which a team of paleontologists describes on page 899 --suggests that the forebears of flowering plants may have been aquatic, weedy herbs.