The vegetative and reproductive (flowering) phases of Arabidopsis development are clearly separated. The onset of flowering is promoted by long photoperiods, but the constans (co) mutant flowers later than wild type under these conditions. The CO gene was isolated, and two zinc fingers that show a similar spacing of cysteines, but little direct homology, to members of the GATA1 family were identified in the amino acid sequence. co mutations were shown to affect amino acids that are conserved in both fingers. Some transgenic plants containing extra copies of CO flowered earlier than wild type, suggesting that CO activity is limiting on flowering time. Double mutants were constructed containing co and mutations affecting gibberellic acid responses, meristem identity, or phytochrome function, and their phenotypes suggested a model for the role of CO in promoting flowering.