You might think, ‘Because it gets warm, idiot’. Shut up.

The actual answer has to do with the cold, rather than the warmth. The process is called “vernalization”. Plants actually begin this process after a month or so of freezing temperatures, which is a good indicator that spring will be a’comin.

One particular specie of plant, arabidopsis or ‘thale cress’, had it’s entire genome sequenced in 2000. Scientists discovered a gene that they, in a fit of creativity, named ‘COLDAIR’, or in Latin frigida (seriously). COLDAIR gets switched on after that long period of freezing temperatures and progressively turns off a gene responsible for inhibiting flowering, over a period of six weeks.

Then bees do it with them. SCIENCE!

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