Japan’s Paris japonica, a White flower, has world’s longest discovered genome!

An ordinary-looking white flower from Japan may carry something quite extraordinary within its pale petals — the longest genome ever discovered.

Researchers at London’s Kew Gardens said Thursday they’d discovered that the Paris japonica has a genetic code 50 times longer than that of a human being. The length of that code easily beats its nearest competitor, a long-bodied muck dweller known as the marbled lungfish.

"We were astounded really," said Ilia Leitch, of Kew’s Jodrell Laboratory.

Leitch and her colleagues suspected the plant might have an larger-than-usual genetic code as its relatives have rather large ones too. But the sheer size of this flower’s genome — if stretched end-to-end it would be taller than Big Ben — caught them by surprise.

"We certainly didn’t expect to find it," she said.

Read the rest of the story: The Associated Press: Claim: White flower has world’s longest genome.