Plant that keeps switching sex is first to be named gender-fluid

A non-binary plant that keeps switching sex is the first to be recognised as gender-fluid.

The Dungowan Bush Tomato plant - which is famously found in the remote Australian outback - has confused scientists since it was first discovered in the 1970's because the bright purple flowers of the plant can vary between female, others male, and a combination of both.

Professor Chris Martine and his team of researchers at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, US, have now named the plant Solanum plastisexum, the second part of which is derived from a Greek root meaning 'changeable', combined with the Latin word for sex.

He said: "For the most part, a given plant species will stick to one primary and predictable type of sexual expression.

"But what makes Solanum plastisexum stand out is that it is one of a just a few plants that kind of do it all. It really seems like you never know what you'll get when you come across it."

"This name, for us, is not just a reflection of the diversity of sexual forms seen in this species."