A new plant species has been found in the Brazilian state of Bahia along the Atlantic coast.  Described by amateur botanist Alex Popovkin, the new plant was named Spigelia genuflexa because of its unique property of genuflexing down to the ground to deposit its seeds.

The branches that have seeds developing at the ends will bend down to the ground and either deposit the seeds on the ground or in a number of cases actually bury them just under the surface.

Popovkin has cataloged and photographed over 800 plants on his property alone and when he spied this curious little plant, he called in some help from local experts.  Eventually, Lena Struwe from Rutgers University in New Jersey agreed to help him identify the plant.

After examining the plants and helping Popovkin identify them, Struwe made the following statements concerning its self-planting trait:

In this species, it is most likely that because it is so short-lived (just a few months) and lives in small fragments of suitable environments, the mother plant is most successful if she deposits her seeds right next to herself, [rather than] spreading them around far into less suitable environments.  Since the plant only survives for one season, the mother plant will not compete with her daughter plants either, which can be a problem for more long-lived plants.

She then explained that other plants have evolved similar survival techniques such as some cliff dwelling plants that place their seeds in cracks to avoid predators.

I’ve been a biologist my entire life and I beg for someone to explain to me how a plant knows that it has to plant its seeds near its base in order for them to survive or in a nearby crack to prevent them from being eaten by predators.  I hope you notice how they give the plants an ability to think and reason and to actually decide to evolve these traits in order to survive.  They readily place an intelligence factor on plants that have no intelligence as we define it, and yet deny that there could have been an intelligent Designer who created everything to begin with.

Instead of trying to explain the plant using nonsensical evolutionary scenarios where plants think and make decisions, I would guess from what I have read that God designed this plant to lose water pressure in the branches that have ripened seeds at the ends.  The loss of water pressure allows the branches to droop over and bend down to the ground.  At that point, the seed is released and water pressure returns to the branch, lifting it back up.  You can see the same thing with your plants at home when they get too dry and begin to droop over.  You water them and in a short time, the plant once again is standing tall.

Spigelia genuflexa is just one of thousands of examples of how marvelous and diverse our Creator was when He formed the earth and everything on it a few thousand years ago.

Reference

Martins, Alejandra.  New species of genuflecting plant buries its own seeds, BBCNews, Sept. 23, 2011

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