Scientists have estimated that there are possibly between 5 million and 50 million plant species on our planet, however only about 2 million species have been discovered and documented to date. It is believed that many species live, die & become extinct before we have even discovered them.
A perfect example of this is Spigelia genuflexa, a tiny plant that stands approximately 1 inch high and offers up dainty little pink and white star shaped flowers.
Originally found growing in the garden of amateur botanist and plant collector, Alex Popvkin, only a few minuscule plants were found. They died in the dry season and then reappeared in the exact same places when the rainy season started again. This was due to a rather unique propagation trait, a characteristic known as geocarpy.
Once this plant starts to form its fruit, it slowly bends down its branches and deposits the seed capsules carefully onto the ground, sometimes even burying them in moss. This trait is shared with peanut plants and ensures the seeds will grow into new plants near the mother plant in the next season. It was this dexterity that caused this new species to be named Spigelia genuflexa.