Sakura is in full bloom in Tokyo - the capital of Japan, but some trees are strangely different due to the journey of the seeds from which they are grown into space.
The sacrament of cosmic influence unites monks and scientists of Japan after growing a cherry tree from seeds that had been in orbit for eight months. The plant blossomed much earlier than expected, with the most striking flowers.
The four-year-old sapling was grown from cherry seed, previously aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and bloomed on April 1, which is approximately six years ahead of the usual natural biorhythm.
Such an early bloom puzzled the Buddhist monks of an ancient temple in central Japan where a tree grows.
“We were amazed to see how quickly she grew up,” the head priest of the Ganjoji temple in Gifu Masahiro Kadjita told France Presse by telephone.
“Seeds from the mother tree never germinated before. We are very pleased because we managed to revive this ancient plant, which is said to be 1250 years old. ” Miracle Seed was among the 265 collected under the famous project “Chujo-Hime-seigan-Zakura" whose essence was to collect seeds from different types of cherry trees in 14 places throughout Japan.
The seeds were sent to the ISS in November 2008 and returned to Earth in July of the following year with the Japanese astronaut Koichi Wobakata, after they circled the globe 4,100 times.
Some of them were sent for laboratory tests, but most were sent back to their native places and were planted in nurseries near the Ganjoji temple.
By April of this year, the “cosmic cherry” had grown about four meters (13 feet) in height, and suddenly released nine flowers with only five petals, compared with the usual 30, characteristic of the mother tree.
Usually for a similar tree before the appearance of the first buds takes about 10 years. Ganzhoji Temple is not the only place in the early flowering of the cosmic cherry tree. Of the 14 places in which seedlings were transplanted, flowers were seen in only four places.