The First Flower Grown in Space is an Edible Orange Zinnia1

The first flowers to ever grow in space are blooming on the International Space Station today. Despite fears of over-watering, the crew coaxed the zinnias into a burst of colour in their zero-g vegetable garden.

Zinnias are edible blooming plants that are usually on the easy ends in the spectrum to grow. They’re the second plant to be tested in the space station’s hydroponic VEGGIE lab. Astronauts taste-tested their previous crop, lettuce, last last year. Zinnias are most commonly eaten in salads, but also made a tasty accent to tacos.

So, gardeners: How does this flower look different than your terrestrial blooms?

Image credit: NASA/Scott Kelly


Contact the author at mika.mckinnon@io9.com or follow her at @MikaMcKinnon.