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Those Amazing Plants

I'm utterly amazed.

Many weeks ago, I removed some excess plants to a plastic storage box and 
carried them to my friend's house for his aquarium.  There was Wisteria, 
tenellus, Anubias, crypts, Cardamine, and a medium sword in the box.  Well, 
I dropped in on him while I was in Nashville over the past couple of days 
and found that the box was still sitting untouched where I'd left 
it.  Jason had been lazy about adding the plants to his tank and then had 
become afraid to open the box fearing that the plants were rotten and 
stinking.  I'm no fan of funky odors either, but I wanted my box back, so 
it had to be opened and cleaned out.

I took the box outside to dump it.  I sucked in a deep breath, held it, and 
took the lid off the box expecting to find a sewer of rotten plant 
life.  What I found instead made my jaw drop -- the Wisteria had completely 
disintegrated, but all of the other plants looked just like they did when I 
put them in there; firm, white roots, leaves still crispy and green.  No 
stink.  No rot.  Just clear water, plants, and some Wisteria debris settled 
on the bottom.

What gives?  The plants sat in the plastic container for almost 5 
weeks!  Did they go into suspended animation?  I've heard survival tales of 
this sort about Anubias but not the other plants.  Could minimal exposure 
to air have something to do with it?  The lid of the box makes a pretty 
good seal -- just shy of airtight.

Whatever the cause, the plants' ability to survive such adverse conditions 
is nothing short of astounding to me.  These leaf-bearing beings we grow 
become more fascinating with every passing moment.
Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee -- we're expecting 3-5" of snow!