Plant collectors have become a force of evolution. The way in which they've harvested a Himalayan wildflower has inadvertently driven the species toward a shorter form, according to a new report.
Traditional healers in Asia have long prized the snow lotus (Saussurea laniceps), which grows only in the eastern Himalayas. The plants bloom just once, at the end of a life spanning at least 7 years. Particularly large blooming plants attract collectors, who consider them to have the greatest medicinal value.