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Botanic Notables: The Lady Gaga Fern

November 01, 2012
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Lady Gaga is a pop star, cultural icon, provocateur and now, a genus of ferns—at least by name. Last week, botanists at Duke University named a newly identified genus, including 19 species of ferns, after the singer. 

Botanic Notables: Palm Trees in Ancient Antarctica

August 10, 2012
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As we dip into August, we're inclined to imagine one last trip—chasing summer's sunny embrace to a lush clime in the Caribbean, the south of France, the Hawaiian archipelago, or... eastern Antarctica? Not this year, perhaps, but 55 million years ago, coastal Antarctica was a pretty balmy place. Summers peaked at about 25°C (77 F), winters were a mild 10°C (50 F), and the shores were filled with palm trees and ancestors of the modern macadamia and baobab.

Botanic Superlatives: The Oldest Forest

March 09, 2012
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We're only two months in, and already it's proving to be a year of ancient botanic superlatives. First, there was the resurrection of a 32,000 year-old campion flower. Now, scientists have excavated a 385 million-year old forest, believed to be the world's oldest.