“It’s just a plant with heart-shaped seeds,” Clyton said. “Nothing to get excited over.”

“Clyton, since when do I tell you how to pilot your boat?” Ash said. “I know my herbs and my history. Heart-shaped seeds, structure similar to asafetida and fennels, resin with a rich odor…no living plant has those properties.”

“Congrats, then,” Clyton said. “New species. Give you twenty bucks to name it after me.”

“No!” cried Ash. “This isn’t a time to be funny, Clyton; it’s a time to be awed. It’s not a new species. It can only be silphium, the miracle plant known to the Greeks and Romans…and it’s been extinct for 2500 years.”