Welwitschia is a monotypic genus of gymnosperm plant, composed solely of the very distinct Welwitschia mirabilis. It is the only genus of the family Welwitschiaceae and order Welwitschiales, in the division Gnetophyta. The plant, which is considered a living fossil, is named after the Austrian botanist Friedrich Welwitsch who discovered it in 1859. The geographic distribution of Welwitschia mirabilis is limited to the Namib desert within Namibia and Angola.
Coniferous plant of Namib Desert, swollen woody stem becoming monstrous with age (2 000 years!), 2 leaves only which grow continuously & are maintained for life, sexes separate. Sow Spring-Summer.
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