Wild Ones   Wild Ones Archive 2002, Nov 08:  
  Ques #24: Prehistoric Plants  

Wild Ones 2002 Archive


    QUESTION #24: Prehistoric Plants


    My nine-year old son sprang on me the idea of making a garden of plants from the Cretaceous period. I'm thinking of creating a garden path that goes backward in time. Does anyone know of a resource that identifies how long ago current plants and wildflowers originated, or discusses paleobotany in terms useful to gardeners?


    Our garden plants will need to be hardy in southern Wisconsin. Horsetails (Equisetum) are one prehistoric plant we've identified; can anyone recommend a source for these? Ferns, mosses and conifers are possibilities. The Cretaceous period marked the beginning of flowering plants such as magnolias. When did jack-in-the-pulpit, skunk cabbage, and other wildflowers come on the scene? Thanks for whatever help you can give toward our "time garden."


    A final note--on Sara Stein's wonderful books. Many of us are fans of Noah's Garden. My son also highly recommends Sara's book entitled The Evolution Book. He has read it three times. Thank you, Sara!


    -- Chris, Beloit, Wis.

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