Field of Science

Going Gaga over a fern

Honorifics are either generic or specific epithets that honor someone by using their name.  They are quite common actually, and sometimes they can be humorous or down right mean.  Consider Ruiz and Pavon who named the genus Galinsoga after a Dutch rival saying that the beauty and size of the flower matched his botanical accomplishments, except the flowers were small and not very attractive.  So this is pretty funny actually, a new fern genus, Gaga, yes, an honorific for Lady Gaga, and it was done by one of my good colleagues, Kathleen Pryor, in the most recent issue of Systematic Botany.  Now they could have done better with the title of the article, “Going Gaga over ferns” or something like that, but it’s still pretty catchy.  The resemblance is pretty obvious in this illustration except they are comparing this haploid fern to the diploid singer.  HT to AoB blog and No seeds, no fruits, no flowers; no problem blog

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