GardenDrumThe 2000 year-old date palm still has it


‘Methuselah’, the Judean date palm germinated 10 years ago from 2000 year old seed, has proven that age is no barrier to fatherhood, with his pollen producing a healthy cross-species date palm. 

The male Methuselah, described as a “big boy now” was sprouted in 2005 from seed collected during archeological excavations back in the 1960s at Herod the Great’s palace at Masada.

Through pollinating a ‘wild’, modern female date palm with Methuselah’s pollen, the Arava Institute at Kibbutz Ketura has shown that age is no barrier to the potency of a male date palm. Two other palms sprouted from the ancient seed are female, so they hope to one day to be able to plant out an ancient date grove, giving better clues to how people in the region lived and ate before 500AD.

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