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's Martian Hero Gets His Own Plant
Matt Damon as Mark Watney in "The Martian."   (Twentieth Century Fox via AP)

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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