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New Appalachian lichen named after Dolly Parton

A new species of lichen found in the Appalachian Mountains has been named after country singer Dolly Parton, the New York Botanical Garden announced yesterday. The research, published in the journal Castanea of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, describes how the species had been known to scientists for some time. But until a recent find on Hangover Mountain in western North Carolina, no one had seen the lichen, now known as Japewiella dollypartoniana, in a fertile state with the accompanying apothecia—fungal reproductive structures—that would have made classification of the species possible. Naming the lichen after Parton, the researchers say, was a way to honor her Appalachian roots and philanthropy in the region.

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