oldest living plant

Annette & Scott Ranger ranger at america.net
Mon Jul 28 17:30:40 EST 1997


I've enjoyed this thread and forwarded the article on Lomatia tasmanica
to the orginal poster. But now with all the other species, a curious
thought comes to mind. I've owned a pair of  L.L. Bean Maine hunting
boots for nearly 20 years and heard a funny story about a fellow who
onwed a pair for nearly 50 years. You see, L.L. Bean offers a service
that they will replace the rubber bottoms or the leather tops as they
wear out. Seems this fellow had worn out two dozen bottoms and a dozen
tops. Just kept sending them back to L.L. Bean for reapair. So he says
he's wearing the same boots! The
Lomatia/Gaylusaccia/Vaccinium/Larea/Populus species submitted for the
oldest living plant strike me as just another pair of boots with
countless new bottoms and tops. While the genetic material is
undoubtedly the same, in the manner in wich people speak of living
organisms, they realy aren't quite the same as the General Sherman giant
redwood (Sequiadendron giganteum) or Methusalah bristlecone pine (Pinus
longaeva). Those two guys have the same tissue that's been around for
thousands of years. I'd call that more what people readily think of as
oldest living thing. Yup, the clones are pretty neat, but not quite the
same.

Scott Ranger




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