If Valentine's Day was a competition, this West Conn biologist would clean up!

Hey guys, Western Connecticut State University biology professor, Tom Philbrick is making us all look bad. Philbrick couldn't just go out and buy some roses, jewelry, and chocolates for his wife. Noooo! He had to be a showoff and name a new plant species after her instead! Thanks, Tom!

The story comes courtesy of the Connecticut Post and how Philbrick named a brand new species of plant he calls, Rhyncholacis Paulana after his wife, Paula. Where'd you find that new species of plant Tom? In your backyard?

Of course not. Tom and his research partner, Claudia Bove traveled to Brazil where they found the new species along the road in a stream in Amapa, Brazil. As soon as he saw the big fleshy leaves of the river weed, he knew immediately they had found a first. He named this new plant species after his wife as a declaration of her support because she's the reason he was able to dive headlong into his career in academics. The plant looks similar to the rhubarb plant.

Gunnera plant on river bank
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Paula Philbrick earned her PHD at the University of New Hampshire and as their children were growing up she taught biology at the University of Connecticut's Waterbury campus. The couple has been married for 35 years and live in Newtown. Rhyncholacis Paulana?! Really Tom!



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