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February 25 2014

Like Columbus, It Floated Here


By the time Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492, bottle gourds had already conquered much of the globe. After evolving in Africa, one species, Lagenaria siceraria, made a break for East Asia around 11,000 years ago and eventually took up residence in Polynesia, China, Peru and beyond, earning the title of most widely distributed pre-Columbian domesticated plant.

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