164 million-year-old plant fossil is the oldest example of a flowering bud

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The fossilized Florigerminis jurassica plant with a defined stem, bulbous fruit and fossilized flower bud (marked by the white arrow). (Image credit: NIGPAS)

Researchers have uncovered the earliest example of a flower bud in a 164 million-year-old plant fossil in China. The discovery firmly pushes back the emergence of flowering plants into the Jurassic period, between 145 million and 201 million years ago. 

The fossil, which was uncovered in the Inner Mongolia region of China, is 1.7 inches (4.2 centimeters) long and 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. It contains a stem, a leafy branch, a bulbous fruit and a tiny flower bud around 3 square millimeters in size. The researchers have named the new species Florigerminis jurassica.

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