Date: Fall 2011
How does the age of a seed affect the seed's germination?
From this URL:
"The oldest carbon-14-dated seed that has grown into a viable plant was
a Judean date palm seed about 2,000 years old, recovered from excavations at
Herod the Great's palace on Masada in Israel. It was germinated in
2005. (For more details refer to Judean date palm: Germination
of 2000 year-old seed).
The second oldest viable seed recorded is the carbon-14-dated
1,300-year-old sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), recovered from a dry lakebed
in northeastern China in 1995."
As you can imagine with all things biological, even seeds, which are supposed to survive without germination from one to many years depending on the plant species, eventually, will lose the ability to germinate and grow into a complete plant.
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Update: June 2012