The Science of Existence (135-2-1) Rite of Spring

 Rite of Spring

Plants commonly must endure a prolonged cold spell to provoke flowering. Vernalization is the term for an angiosperm requiring a cold winter to flower in spring.

Vernalization is a form of state memory, via epigenetics, particularly histone alteration. The flow of epigenetic activity that ultimately regulates flowering varies depending upon the season and the developmental stage that a plant is in.

A seed has no need to know of flowering. The epigenetics associated with vernalization have been reset.

As a plant grows, memories of its development are preserved from one cell generation to the next. Those memories are stored epigenetically.

Having grown strong during summer into fall in its 1st year, and then survived the winter, a plant is prepared to bring forth the next generation. The epigenetic marks in its cells tell it so.