Rare Plant Named After Rock Icon Jimi Hendrix; Other Species Named After Famous People
Botanists have named a newly discovered species of rare, succulent flower after Jimi Hendrix, a music icon and rock guitarist who became famous for his many songs like Purple Haze and The Wind Cries Mary.
The plant, named Dudleya hendrixxii or Hendrix's liveforever, is only found in Baja California, Mexico, in an area called Colonet Peninsula. Liveforever is thin, stalky and grows to be about 0.3 meter tall. It has succulent leaves and flowers that are hot pink and white, Live Science reports. This plant dies during the summer and re-sprouts in fall.
The plant's discoverer, a former graduate at San Diego State University, Mark Dodero, found it while listening to Hendrix's song Vodoo Child. He is now affiliated with the San Diego environmental consulting firm RECON Environmental as a senior biologist. A colleague from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Stephen McCabe, decided to name it after the late rock guitarist.
However, unlike Hendrix's music, the plant is in peril because its two-acre habitat is now threatened by off-road vehicles, development and farming. This is despite the fact that liveforevers are a kind of succulent with enormous life spans.
"It's the Mexican equivalent of an endangered species, although they don't use the same criteria we do in the United States," Michael Simpson, San Diego State University plant biologist, explained in a press release.
The study was published in the journal Madroño.
Species Named After Famous People
President Barack Obama is one of the latest famous people to be immortalized in the taxonomic record. An orange-colored lichen, called Caloplaca obamae, discovered in California was named after him in March. On the other hand, former President George W. Bush had a beetle named after him, Agathidium bushi.
Darth Vader, the famous villain in the Star Wars saga, had a slime-mold beetle named after him. Moreover, famous guitarist Frank Zappa had three species named after him -- Phialella zappai (jellyfish), Pachygnatha zappa (spider), Zappa, a genus of Gobiidae (fish), Popular Mechanics reports.