Top 100 national symbols in the World No.2: Welwitschia Mirabilis Flower- Angola

27-08-2016

(Worldkings) Welwitschia is a monotypic gymnosperm genus, comprising solely the distinctive Welwitschia mirabilis.

Welwitschia is named after the Slovenian botanist and doctor Friedrich Welwitsch who discovered the plant in 1859 in present-day Angola. Welwitsch was so overwhelmed by the plant that he, "could do nothing but kneel down and gaze at it, half in fear lest a touch should prove it a figment of the imagination." Joseph Dalton Hooker of the Linnean Society of London, using Welwitsch's description and collected material along with material from the artist Thomas Baines who had independently discovered the plant in Namibia, described the species.

The age of individual plants is difficult to assess, but many plants may be over 1000 years old. Some individuals may be more than 2000 years old. And to survive, all the things in the world must need water and food but with this plant, just only 8 millimeters of water is enough for a year, a minority of this water is from rain water, the rest is from dew, they have a set of roots that can reach a length of 40 meters to help them “seek” the water. They also have another name “Onyanga”- the onion of the desert due to its favorite taste no matter you eat it raw or bake it and then enjoy it.


Le Thanh Minh- worldking.org (collecting)

 

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