Science Fun of the Week

(September 8th, 2017) Get ready for your weekly dose of scienc fun. Today: The taxonomy of plastic plants.

From the introduction:
“A previously unacknowledged family of significant economic importance plants has been flourishing around us for many years. The fact that this immense family has been heretofore ignored by most botanists is astonishing given that its members are found worldwide and in almost every society. As a completely new plant family has not been described for many years, it may come as a surprise to many in the plant sciences that there remains such a large and diverse undescribed taxon. The methodology for delineating such a speciose new family is without modern precedent. In addition, this family is more than a botanical curiosity. It is a genuine scientific conundrum, as the taxa lack genetic material, appear virtually immortal, and have the ability to form intergeneric crosses with ease, despite any evident mechanism for cross-fertilization. We will attempt to clarify some of these puzzles. There is no previously published taxonomic research for this family, so, luckily, we did not have to coerce any unpaid students to do any literature searches for us."

Read the rest of the paper here.


Photo: Pixbay/jsbaw (plastic flower)

Last Changes: 09.28.2017