Shortia galacifolia Torr. & A. Gray
Although native to North America, you aren’t likely to find these outside a garden, since they are extremely rare. After identification in 1788, nearly a century elapsed before it was spotted again.
Identification: Technically, this evergreen plant qualifies as a tiny shrub, though, at a height of about 6" (15 cm), most would classify it as a herbaceous plant. Leaves are round, ¾-2½" (1.9-6.3 cm), with long stems and gently scalloped edges, very glossy. Flowers about ¼" (6.3 mm) in diameter appear atop short stems. They are white or pinkish, with delicate frilled edges like pinks and five petals.
Shortia galacifolia on www.carolinanature.com
Shortia galacifolia on huh.harvard.edu
Shortia galacifolia on Discover Life
Shortia galacifolia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Shortia galacifolia on www.pvcnargs.org
Shortia galacifolia on plants.ces.ncsu.edu
Shortia galacifolia at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum (PDF)
Shortia galacifolia on eFloras
Shortia galacifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.