For the first time in 60 million years, an exotic plant called the cycad (Cycas revoluta) has produced both male and female reproductive cones outdoors in Britain.
In previous years, cycads have not been able to reproduce outdoors in the UK due to the mild climate. Thirty years ago, the plants couldn’t even be grown outside.
Several cycads, which are native to Japan, are located outdoors at Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight.
Although the plants had produced male cones within the previous decade, the appearance of both male and female cones this year indicates that the plants are ready to reproduce, The Guardian reports.
Because cycads are native to warmer climates, scientists believe this development is a definitive indication of warming global temperatures. Botanists intend to observe the plants in coming years to see how their growth and development correlates with changing temperatures.