Aug 08 2012

Botanical Wednesday: Baseball!

See? It’s a plant that looks like a baseball! And on Friday, the Minnesota Atheists Regional Conference will be sponsoring a baseball game in St Paul, the Mr Paul Aints vs. the Amarillo Sox. You should come. Here’s the schedule for the meeting: Dave Silverman, Hector Avalos, Ayanna Watson, Robert Price, Teresa McBain, J. Anderson Thompson, and me. Probably no baseball plants, though. They’ve been wiped out in the wild.

(via WebEcoist)


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  1. 1

    Well I’m glad for the explanation about the baseball game sponsoring. At first I thought PZ was being flippant about using this wonderful plant as a baseball. It seemed a strange sentiment to come from the keyboard of a biologist!

  2. 2
    Ben Goren

    This is a member of the Lithops genus, no? Any chance for a bit more specificity…?



  3. 3

    Who are you trying to fool? This is a terrestrial sea-urchin!!

  4. 4
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Probably no baseball plants, though. They’ve been wiped out in the wild.

    The Chicago Cubs of botany.

  5. 5

    Convergent Evolution in action.
    The baseball plant is Euphorbia obesa.

  6. 6

    Here is another example of convergence. The Sand Dollar Cactus Astrophytum asterias. Evolution is just amazing.

  7. 7

    Yes, it is a Euphorbia obesa – I have one in my cactus and succulent collection that’s 12 or 13 years old.

  8. 8

    The plant does not look at all like a baseball.

    It’s probably a triffid.

  9. 9
    Glen Davidson

    Odd idea to camouflage a baseball like that. But then again, what right to they have to always expect a bright white ball?

    Glen Davidson

  10. 10

    keep your eye on de ball

  11. 11
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Gorgeous. Looks like an ocean plant (or animal)!

    By the way, sunflowers.

  12. 12

    I am a sucker for succulents. That is a beauty.

  13. 13

    Honestly it looks like a facehugger will burst out of that thing and try to make sweet love to your mouth.

  14. 14
    Ben Goren

    Tethys, paulburnett, thanks. Somehow it’s not surprising that, if it’s not a living stone that it should be Euphorbia….


  15. 15

    M. C. Escher would be entranced.

  16. 16

    That’d be cool to grow a baseball, but Cleveland would do better with growing a team that’s actually decent.

  17. 17

    Looks like it could be a pope’s hat…

  18. 18

    That is no plant, it’s a fossilised tribble.

  19. 19

    I go with Triffid.

  20. 20

    To me, it looks like an echinoid. Except for the extra ambulacra; should be only 5.

  21. 21

    More plants that look like echinoids (that can’t count). Cactus this time.

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