Climate Change Will at Least Bring Interesting Trees for the Cockroaches to Shelter Beneath

By Gary Cutlack on at

There's good news about climate change out there today, if you squint a bit and try not to think about it on more than one level, as botanists are reporting that an unusual plant is really enjoying our warmer weather.

The only marginally worrying thing about this news is that it is thought to be the first time a Cycas revoluta has produced a female cone while growing outdoors in this part of the world for sixty million years. Two of the primitive conifers in the care of the Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight have produced their basic version of male and female cones this summer, with the only other examples of this happening being recorded in 2012 when a male tree at Ventnor produced a cone and then you have to scroll back to... fossil records.

Gardens curator Chris Kidd said: "For the first time in 60m years in the UK we've got a male cone and a female cone at the same time. It is a strong indicator of climate change being shown, not from empirical evidence from the scientists but by plants."

Kidd is putting aside worries about the heat death of the planet to enjoy transferring the male and female pollens about the place, creating viable seeds in the UK for the first time since dinosaur days. [Guardian]