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The long lived (male) Welwitschia (Welwitschia Mirabilis) plant, a “living fossil” can be seen growing beside fossils from the Petrified Forest situated Aba Huab River valley west of Khorixas, Damaraland, Namibia, Africa. The Welwitschia has a low trunk and two leaves that divide and sprawl on the Namib gravel for the entire life of the plant, which can span many hundreds of years. If this weren’t enough, Welwitschia is a gymnosperm related to Mormon Tea (Ephedra) and produces seeds in cones, not from flowers. An individual Welwitschia plant produces either male or female cones, but never both. The age of the plants is difficult to assess, but they are very long-lived, living 1000 years or more. Some individuals may be more than 2000 years old.
Canon EOS, zoom lens.
Although considered endangered due to its very slow growth and despite the fact that older plants are often sought by collectors, a fair number of plants exist in the wild. The plants living in Angola are better protected than the plants in Namibia, owing to the relatively high concentration of land mines in Angola, which keep collectors away.
(Featured in African Art & Photography.)

Tags

grey green, strappy, leaves, ancient, unique, plant, arid, dry, sunny, hot, parched, environment, nature, namib, desert, flowers, wildflowers, threatened, namibia, africa, southern africa, carole anne fooks

Have camera, will travel!
Dynamic, documentary and expressive Travel photography with interests in people, landscape, culture, architecture, ancient civilizations, nature and wildlife.
Also interested in photographing local events.
Please feel free to visit my website which I share with my husband, Geoffrey Higges:
www.livingtravel.com.au

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Comments

  • Maree  Clarkson
    Maree Clarksonover 2 years ago

    Oh my! Landmines! That’s definitely a way to keep plant robbers away! Beautiful capture and interesting info Carole-Anne!

  • Thank you Maree

    – Carole-Anne

  • Rina Greeff
    Rina Greeffover 2 years ago

    Lovely, Carole-Anne: I’ve read that even though it produces ‘winged seeds’, the seeds never spread far away from the mother plant.

  • Thank you Rina – yes, I’ve read that too.

    – Carole-Anne

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...over 2 years ago


    1 April 2012 – 2 images per day

  • Thank you Konstantinos

    – Carole-Anne

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesover 2 years ago


    Please view and comment on our Feature page here
    and our current challenge here
    WELL DONE!

  • Thank you Magaret

    – Carole-Anne

  • rocamiadesign
    rocamiadesignover 2 years ago

    Thank you for adding your work to The Best of RedBubble!

  • Thank you

    – Carole-Anne

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonabout 2 years ago

    Natures Paintbrush

    BEAUTIFUL work,
    .

  • Thank you Ann

    – Carole-Anne

  • kalaryder
    kalaryderabout 2 years ago

    Great information and such an unusual plant

  • Thank you

    – Carole-Anne

  • kalaryder
    kalaryderabout 2 years ago

    14/06/2012

  • Thank you

    – Carole-Anne

  • MotherNature
    MotherNatureabout 2 years ago

    I’m captivated by your description and I’m glad they are surviving in the wild. If not for the land mines I wonder if that would be true. Congratulations on placing in the top 10 in the Going Green challenge! FAVE

  • Thank you

    – Carole-Anne

  • mellychan
    mellychanover 1 year ago

    oh i have seen these in namibia on the wonderful welwitschia tour drive outside of swakopmund. such strange plants – love them though – they remind me of audrey from ‘little shop of horrors’!

  • Thank you Melly

    – Carole-Anne

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