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Flowers in Space


Well, flowers FROM space, at least.

Or, what we mean is, flowers that HAVE BEEN TO space, anyway.

....which is still pretty awesome! I mean, I haven't been to space. 

Ahem. Anyway. This is the story that at the Shanghai Lotus Flowers Show, in (surprise) Shanghai, the star exhibit is 50 pots of "space lots flowers" -- plants cultivated from seeds which have actually travelled outside the atmosphere!  Cultivators have even made claims that space has a positive effect on the blooms -- they say that, having experienced mutation in orbit, the lotus flowers then grow bigger, more colourful petals than ordinary, earthling lotuses.

"The purpose of sending seeds into space is to make use of high-energy particles and radiation to induce mutation," said Xie Keqiang, director of the Guangchang White Lotus Research Institute. "But the manned Shenzhou IV had a life-support system that weakened the radioactive effect."

Tao Dejun explains further: 

"The Space Red Flag, for example, has a very large flower, which could be 40 centimeters long in diameter. It's more durable. Ordinary lotus flowers in a pond usually bloom for two months, but a pond of Space Red Flag can last from late May to early November, which obviously has more ornamental value."

Sounds good to us. 


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