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31.03.2015
Methuselah palm. Photo Wikicommons

Fresh hope that 2,000-year old seed could restore extinct biblical Judean palm

Methuselah the 10-foot tall date palm tree is a boy, researchers say, and think a female may be found.

Methuselah, the Judean date palm grown from a 2,000-year old seed, has turned out to be male, and there's fresh hope he could sire a revival of his extinct species – he's potent.

Now ten years old, the tree is over ten feet tall, with offshoots and flowers, and its pollen works, says Sarah Sallon, MD, director of the Hadassah organization's Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Research Center.

Sallon who initiated the Germination of Ancient Seed Program as part of her long term Middle Eastern Medicinal Plant project, works with neighbors - Palestinians and Jordanians - to develop and conserve the medicinal plants in this area. "Plants have no borders,” Sallon points out, and she believes there could be great potential in their medicinal properties.

For Methuselah to revive the species, a female of the same species is needed. Other date seeds have been found in around the same area as his seed, but they haven't yet been completely analyzed.

Meanwhile, at least, Methuselah produced pollen for the first time last year, proving his gender.

Source: Haaretz

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