Category Archive 'Oldest Living Things'

06 Sep 2010

13,000 Year Old Huckleberry Bushes Flourish in Pennsylvania

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I find the Sussman photograph of Box Huckleberry disappointing. It was made in the wrong season to show the plant at best advantage.

Rachel Sussman has spent five years on a personal project photographing living organisms more than 2000 years old.

Sussman photos

14:09 video

Her list surprised me by containing a representative from my home state of Pennsylvania, the Box Huckleberry, Gaylussacia brachycera. It is a surviving relic of the Ice Age, like the brook trout, and something on the order of 100 colonies have been identified in seven mostly Appalachian states, running from from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.

Wikipedia article

The community at Losh Run, Perry County, Pennsylvania, near the Juniata River, has been estimated to be as much as 13,000 years old, making it the oldest living organism in the United States, second oldest in the world. Only King’s Lomatia, Lomatia tasmanica, a bizarre archaic angiosperm found in 1937 in southwest Tasmania is older. But you don’t get delicious edible berries from a Tasmanian angiosperm.

Perry County, PA site article

Lancaster News article from 1999

Duke article on North Carolina colony

Hat tip to Zoe Pollock.

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