Seed longevity - MSU

harrisji at harrisji at
Wed Nov 3 16:07:00 EST 1993

Anyone have any information on the Beal seed longevity experiment? 
Beal buried twenty jars of seeds on the campus of Michigan State
University in 1879 to be unearthed at five year intervals over the
next 100 years to see how long the seeds would remain viable.  In
1920 the interval was extended to every ten years.

In 1980 I saw an article in Newsweek or Time on the experiment.  A
few of the seeds planted that year had germinated after 101 years
in the ground.

I didn't see any notice of the results of the 1990 planting.  Does
anyone know what grew?

Perhaps someone at Michigan State is up on this?  I'd appreciate
any information, especially a literature citation.



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