Artificae Plantae: The Taxonomy, Ecology, and Ethnobotany of Simulacraceae

plantae_fig_3_P_RGB250px1.jpgThis family is more than a botanical curiosity. It is a scientific conundrum, as the taxa:

1. lack genetic material,

2. appear virtually immortal and

3. have the ability to form intergeneric crosses with ease, despite the lack of any evident mechanism for cross-fertilization.

In this study, conducted over approximately six years, we elucidate the first full description and review of this fascinating taxon, heretofore named Simulacraceae. The distribution, ecology, taxonomy, ethnobotany and chemistry of this widespread family are herein presented. We have identified more than 80 species, and determined that this cosmopolitan family has a varied ecology. This report delineates seventeen genera (Calciumcarbonatia, Celadonica, Conglomeratium, Dentumadhesivium, Ductusadhesivia, Granitus, Lignus, Metallicus, Papyroidia, Paraffinius, Photophyta, Plasticus, Polystyrin, Prophylactica, Simulacra, Silicus and Textileria).

(That’s an excerpt from the article “Artificae Plantae: The Taxonomy, Ecology, and Ethnobotany of Simulacraceae“, by Kurt Allerslev Reynertson, Julie Velasquez Runk and Nat Bletter,? published in AIR 14:1.)