Matt Damon's Martian Hero Gets His Own Plant

Solanum watneyi even thrives in red soil
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2016 11:38 AM CST
Matt Damon as Mark Watney in "The Martian."   (Twentieth Century Fox via AP)
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(Newser) – Matt Damon's character in The Martian made botanists look like rock stars, which, shockingly, doesn't happen very often. The reward for the fictional Mark Watney: There's now a plant named after him, reports Time. Chris Martine of Bucknell University found a bush tomato plant in Australia and called it Solanum watneyi after the character who first appeared in Andy Weir's 2011 book, he explained previously in the Huffington Post. It's fitting: The new species is related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum) that Watney grew on Mars in the book and film and thrives in red soil. Weir's take, per a release: There could be no "higher honor." (Read more botany stories.)

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