Current Event: Fossil Poison Flower

A 45 million year old fossil flower was discovered preserved inside amber from the Dominican Republic. It represents a new plant species related to the coffee bean, sunflowers, peppers, and deadly poisons. The flower species is the oldest found in the flowing plant family, Asterid. From the genus, Stychrnos, which contains some of the most deadly poisons and is on the dark side of the family. The plant is very toxic and deadly, that’s how it survived, but it has evolved into multiple different tree and shrub plants which are being researched as a way to treat malaria and infections at low doses of poison. This plant gives us insight into what sort of environment was around 45 million years ago and how the flower has been evolving for such a long time.

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