Plants of the thymia genus are more like mushrooms in their metabolism. They are not capable of photosynthesis and feed on substances obtained for them by symbiotic fungi.
Kenji Suetsugu of the University of Kobe and colleagues have discovered a species of thymium that was previously thought to be extinct. Several thymium inflorescences, similar to small translucent white-yellow mushrooms, were found in the forest near the city of Sanda. Examination of the specimens showed that they were most similar to the flowers of Thismia kobensis , whose dried specimens are partially preserved in the Kobe City Museum .
Detailed examination of fresh specimens has shown that Thismia kobensis is indeed a separate species. Moreover, genetically this species is closer to American relatives, and not to plants growing in New Zealand and Australia . Probably, his distant ancestors “moved” through the Bering Strait and colonized the New World during the Ice Age.
Previously, scientists have found out the origin of the pattern in the form of honeycombs in the desert.