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Family Iridaceae, native to tropical regions of western Africa, and Central and South America, with the highest diversity (12 species) in Brazil. The genus name is derived from the Greek words neo, meaning "new", and Marica, the Roman nymph. he flowers emerge from what appears to be just another leaf, but is really a flower stalk structured to look like the other leaves; they are 5-10 cm diameter, and closely resemble Iris flowers. After pollination, the new plantlet appears where the flower emerged and the stalk continues to grow longer. The weight of the growing plantlet causes the stalk to bend toward the ground, allowing the new plantlet to root away from its parent. This is how it obtained the common name of "Walking Iris". The other common name "Apostle Plant" comes from the belief that the plant will not flower until the individual has at least 12 leaves, the number of apostles of Jesus.