Family: Gnetaceae

Scientific Name: Welwitschia mirabilis

Common Name: Welwitschia

DescriptionA very rare and unusual plant. Many are over 100 years old.
Plant TypeAll Plants, Succulents
MoistureIn their natural setting they survive off of the dew that settles on the leaves. The dew is formed because of the hot nights and the cold days.
Soil & Sitesandy
FlowersWelwitchia are gymnosperms or cone bearing plants. The male flower is reddish and the green female flower forms an inflorescence cone. Flowers are found on separate plants.
LeavesPhysically this plant consists of a very long tap root and two thick, fleshy, parallel veined leaves. The leaves grow from the point of attachment and not from the tip or apex. The ends become tattered from the continual winds and abrasiveness of the sand. These leaves can reach over 18' long
Stemsold plants form a short woody trunk (caudex)
Rootstap root, need to be grown in tall pots to accommodate the tap root, many times clay drain pipes are used
Propagationseeds, availiability ?
Native SiteThis plant is native to a very small region of the Namid desert, from the Kuiseb River south to southwestern Angola.
Cultivar OriginThis remarkable plant was named after Frederic Martin Joseph Welwitsch (1806-1872)an Austrian botanist and explorer of Angola.
Notes & ReferenceA link to a great section on this plant. (
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