Costa Rican Fern Named After Lady Gaga

A newly identified Latin plant is going Gaga.

Duke University biologist Kathleen Pryer has named a new genus of ferns found in Central and South America, Mexico, Arizona, as well as Texas after pop singer Lady Gaga. The genus of ferns, in this case 19 species, will carry the name of the Grammy Award-winning star.

According to Duke University, the fern has more in common with Lady Gaga than just a name.

“At one stage of its life, the new genus Gaga has somewhat fluid definitions of gender and bears a striking resemblance to one of Gaga’s famous costumes,” they announced. “Members of the new genus also bear a distinct DNA sequence spelling GAGA.”

The gaga germanotta of Costa Rica honors the artist, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta. In addition, a newly discovered Mexican fern species is named Gaga monstraparva, which translates to “monster little,” after Gaga’s fans, whom she calls “little monsters.”

For the 2010 Grammy Awards, Lady Gaga sported a heart-shaped Armani Prive costume, which resembles the bisexual reproductive stage of the ferns, known as gametophyte. According to Pryer, the way the fern extends its new leaves reminds her of Lady Gaga’s “paws up” salute to her fans.

“The reason we named it after Lady Gaga was not sort of the same reasons recently you have seen, (such as) Beyoncé had a horsefly with a golden butt named after her,”  Pryer told The College Fix. “That’s cute, but our reason to do it, we like to think it was rather deep. Lady Gaga is an amazing champion for equality and compassion, and we wanted to give her a scientific namesake that characterizes the struggle we have in biology for understanding diversity in humanity, in all of biology, and even in ferns.”

Pryer also admitted that she and her team are fans of Lady Gaga and listened to her music while they were investigating. The research was partly funded by the National Science Foundation.

Duke University officials unveiled the new Gaga fern group Tuesday.