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"Poised between intransigent scepticism and uncritical credulity, it [science fiction] is par excellence the literature of the open mind."
- John Brunner

Oxygen Weeds  
  Plants that create oxygen on a planet with little breathable air.  

Gibson reached into his pocket and brought out a frond of the brown "seaweed". He punctured one of the fronds, and there was a faint hiss of escaping gas.

"If this stuff is cultivated properly, it may solve the oxygen problem in the cities and do away with all our present complicated machinery. With enough sand for it to feed on, it would give you all the oxygen you need..."

"Of course, you'd have to do some selective breeding to get the variety that gave the most oxygen..."

From The Sands of Mars, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1951
Additional resources -

Compare to the Martian sawgrass from QRM - Interplanetary (1942) by George O. Smith.

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  More Ideas and Technology from The Sands of Mars
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