The discovery of two underground tree species in Angola, Baphia arenicola and Cochlospermum adjanyae, represents a remarkable addition to our understanding of plant adaptation and biodiversity.

These species, unearthed by scientists during a National Geographic Expeditions survey, exhibit an extraordinary life strategy by thriving mostly below the Earth’s surface.

The peculiar environment of the deep, free-draining Kalahari sands of highland Angola has fostered this unique adaptation.

Baphia arenicola, belonging to the bean family, showcases white flowers that barely emerge above the ground.

Cochlospermum adjanyae, with its striking yellow flowers, is named in honor of Adjany Costa, an Angolan environmentalist and 2019 UN Young Champions of the Earth Africa prize winner.

This discovery not only enriches our knowledge of the world’s flora but also underscores the importance of exploration and conservation in remote and under-studied regions​​​​.

These discoveries are a testament to the hidden wonders of the natural world, waiting to be discovered and understood.