Science Chinese flower has evolved to be less visible to pickers

tom_mai78101

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For thousands of years, the dainty Fritillaria delavayi has grown slowly on the rocky slopes of the Hengduan mountains in China, producing a bright green flower after its fifth year.

But the conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine.



As commercial harvesting has intensified, Fritillaria delavayi has vanished – by rapidly evolving to produce grey and brown leaves and flowers that cannot be so easily seen by pickers.

Scientists have discovered that the colour of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged – matching the background rocks on which they grow – in areas where there is more harvesting pressure from people.


Read more here. (The Guardian UK)
 
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