Charles Darwin referred to it as "The plant response to platypus". It is, by many plant collectors considered it as the "Holy Grail" of Botanical world.
Welwitschia plant consists of only two leaves and a sturdy stem with roots. That's all! Two leaves continue to grow until they resemble the shaggy mane of some sci-fi alien. The stem thickens, rather than gains in height, and can grow to be almost 2 meters high and 8 meters wide. The male structures are like cones or thick upright tassels of flowers, with stamens and sterile pistils, while the female structures are cones similar to those on a pine tree. Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years. It can survive up to five years with no rain. The plant is said to be very tasty either raw or baked in hot ashes, and this is how it got its other name, Onyanga, which means onion of the desert. Welwitschia mirabilis was discovered by Austrian botanist Friedrich Welwitsch, and discovers on 3 of September 1859. He was convinced he had seen the finest and most majestic creation, as the tropical, southern Africa could offer. The official description was published in the Gardener's Chronicle & Agricultural Gazette 4: 71 in 1862 by Joseph Dalton Hooker (and years after the Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 24:7, t. 1-14. 1863).m. The plant was named after the explorers who had himself suggested “tumbo” after local people name of the plant, but because they thought it was so great taxonomic significance, it was named after the discoverer. Species name mirabilis mean “remarkable” in Latin.
|Young Plant with two leaves|