The Welwitschia Mirabilis, unique to Namibia and Southern Angola, must be one of the world's strangest plants. The age of individual 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. The plant only ever produces two leaves and in this photograph of a female Welwitschia you can see the wind blown tattered remains of them.
The plant caused quite a stir, when first discovered by the Austrian botanist Friedrich Welwitsch in 1859 who 'could do nothing but kneel down and gaze at it, half in fear lest a touch should prove it a figment of the imagination'. Specimens from Welwitsch's expedition along with further specimens from Thomas Baines were later sent to Kew, and Joseph Hooker proposed to name the species Welwitschia mirabilis (mirabilis meaning 'wonderful' or 'extraordinary' in Latin) in his honour.
With leaves that capture moisture from sea fogs and long taproots that search out any underground water it is well adapted to the harsh arid environments of the Namib Desert where it is found.
The species is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. Fertilization is carried out by insects — mostly flies and infrequently wasps and bees — that are attracted by "nectar" produced on both male and female plants.
Critiques | Translate
jjcordier (62394) 2012-05-01 0:47
Cette plante est très originale mais je suis surtout impressionné par la beauté de la photo que tu as réussi à composer avec elle. Lumière, couleurs, cadrage, netteté et profondeur de champ...tout est parfait!
bukitgolfb301 (30111) 2012-05-01 1:06
Hello my dear Rosemary
Another great nature shot! Indeed this is ARFICA!!!!!
So wonderful and significant image shot via panfocus appraoch. Marvelous color tasete and very good atmosphere. Thanks for your sharing with your best job and have a good day, best regards,
Takero from Tokyo
Budapestman (82620) 2012-05-01 1:13
a superb photo with beautiful colours and details, the composition is spectacular, great atmosphere, Tfs! Have a nice day! Kellemes napot kívánok!
Hellas (6505) 2012-05-01 1:27
Πολύ καλή λήψη!
Τέλεια εστίαση και χρώματα φυσικά. Ο ουρανός είναι το φυσικό και ανυπέρβλητο background.
Συγχαρητήρια για το γούστο σου!
CLODO (24734) 2012-05-01 1:27
Thank you for your interesting note and the image published, I have learned something new today!
tyro (13149) 2012-05-01 2:18
What a fascinating note you have given us here! And, of course, I was intrigued to understand how you managed to "sex" this plant and so just had to look it up and do a bit of research myself. Now I understand, but what I also discovered is that apparently these plants are quite threatened, particularly in Namibia, because of collectors seeking them out and taking them away. That problem seems to be less prevalent in Angola where the relatively high concentration of land mines has at least one beneficial effect - that of keeping the collectors away!
But I wonder how a plant like this manages to survive for all that length of time when it only ever grows just two leaves? You would think it would have to generate more after those became damaged - or do the two leaves just continue to grow?
Your composition here is wonderful - I love the low viewpoint with the top of the plant just peeking out above the horizon with its yellowish cones displayed against a glorious blue sky and the browned leaves set against the reddish sand. The curves and curls of the tattered leaves are wonderful.
Beautiful colours, perfect exposure and stunning detail and sharpness.
MJR (3173) 2012-05-01 2:56
You have created a very special effect, or at least recorded one. This striking splash of colour against the arid backdrop is quite stunning; it must be a real surprise to see it in the flesh.. And of course, that sky ! One we can only dream of !
Your low pov is the masterstroke, all too easy to have clicked whilst standing, but the whole effect is wondrous.
And, not least, your note. Quite fascinating, and strange. TE keeps on surprising me with what the different contributors offer, but it seems increasingly harder to find of late. Perhaps I don't spend enough time surfing !
Looking at the picture again, it makes me think of a sea creature, octopus or starfish, sliding it's malevolent way across the sea bed. ( That is the effect of your low pov I guess...)
Anyways, great job !
dta (51510) 2012-05-01 3:24
Hello Rosemary ,
The subject is really interesting , and you present it perfectly . The effect of te low POV is excellent . The sharpness and teh colors are superb , the sky , too .
timecapturer (30394) 2012-05-01 4:16
you give us a lesson in botany almost everyday, and if I had seen beautiful and creative images like this at school I would probaly have listened a bit more. This is so special! I love every bit of it. Wonderful textures and colours, but your POV is inspired! Formidable!!!
Regards - Brian.
Sergiom (39336) 2012-05-01 5:19
J'aime beaucoup la construction de cette image, son originalité, la lumière ainsi que les couleurs très saturées de l'ensemble.
sacimar (25957) 2012-05-01 7:01
this is an interesting image, I've never seen a plant like this one, colors are beautiful, you chose a good perspective showing the plant towards the sky, I like the picture,
Suppiluliuma (3843) 2012-05-01 7:32
A spectaclar plant, nice POV and natural colors.
I wonder whther the locels use this plant for any medicament or nutrition purposes.
dkmurphys (36857) 2012-05-01 7:53
Very fine detail taken in lovely natural colors. I like the angle, well done!
zanzi (12608) 2012-05-01 8:37
The composition is awesome and the sky is splendid.
I am however a bit troubled by the sky on my screen. I have therefore prepared a ws for your.
rychem (9264) 2012-05-01 10:44
Very attractive and original plant, excellent photo and very informative note
brianmcc (5536) 2012-05-01 11:37
this is a very interesting and strange plant. yuor low viewpoint has helped capture it very well. the blue sky is a stunning background. lovely illumination throughout the picture.
williewhistler (7317) 2012-05-01 13:57
your low view point combined with the wide angle has filled a large part of the frame with this remarkable plant,the way that part of it breaks the sky line works well for me.
Fascinating colours and textures in an interesting upload.
Kind regards Les.
ifege (9450) 2012-05-01 14:42
A strange plant indeed Rosemary. Well taken showing the barren landscape where it grows.
LOOOK13 (19022) 2012-05-01 14:45
Une photo assez impréssionnante, le cadrage sérré est parfait.
delpeoples (45018) 2012-05-02 4:25
Hello dear Rosemary
Wow, what a weird plant, like something out of the Little Shop of Horrors :) Or maybe seaweed? Anyway, it makes a marvellous subject. I love the low POV, the great textures and your skillful management of that harsh light. You really have a knack for photographing trees and plants. Maybe a new calling? have a lovely evening, take care.
mauro61 (52527) 2012-05-02 5:04
bellissima inquadratura con la pianta al centro assoluta protagonista della scena.
Mi piace molto la colorazione e la brillantezza dell'ambientazione,
abmdsudi (26311) 2012-05-02 8:11
A good show of strange and exotic plant never heard or seen before. This is stunning in wonderful colours and detail throughout filling much of the frame as they rightly deserve. I like the feeling of perspective and depth, and the wonderful blue sky adds the necessary contrast. Interesting attached notes, Well done. TFS
mesutilgim (68036) 2012-05-02 13:00
Very nice capture of this dried plant.
Captured from a good pov and perfect layout.
Nice eyecatching colors.
TFS and best regards
Royaldevon (17811) 2012-05-03 1:36
As someone who studied biology main, at college, I found your notes incredibly interesting. What a plant! Its discovery must have been akin to finding a Coelacanth!
Your low pov makes effective use of the long straggling leaf remains, accentuating their spread and guiding towards the plant. The cloud dappled sky makes a fine b/g against which to view this most unusual of plants.
Have a great day,
GREGG (8243) 2012-05-04 2:18
nice frame with a central exposed
interesting plant,interesting note
have a nice day,
jlbrthnn (79773) 2012-05-04 10:06
This extraordinary plant is breathtaking, your note describes the characteristics. The picture is spectacular. The view down enhances its configuration and colors. Light, the colors, the sky, sharpness and depth are remarkable. Bravo.
Have a nice day
Cricri (86535) 2012-05-04 10:31
Spectaculaire cette plante, bon cadrage serré, détails et couleurs toujours merveilleuses
corjan3 (1879) 2012-05-05 7:33
This must be the most beautiful image of Welwitschia Mirabilis that I have ever seen. I have colour slides of it taken on the Namib Flats approaching Walvisbaai from Solitaire and also in the area to the northeast of Cape Cross but they are NOTHING compared to this! What a fabulous image of this "living fossil". Best wishes.
Noel_Byrne (7450) 2012-05-05 11:59
Hi Rosemary. Wonderful note and wonderful image. I have never heard of this plant before, and it the most unique and other wordly I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing this.
macjake (39235) 2012-05-05 14:14
i had to click on this photo, just to see what it IS!
A note that gives us so much interesting information.
love the textures, colors and low POV.
Angshu (51174) 2012-05-05 22:54
A picture in the truest spirit of TE! A classic composition which shows us something rare & what we possibly cannot see with your own eyes. Fine information n your note which has to be read first to understand the picture. The low POV was well chosen close to the plant & spanning the width of the frame. Good light & colour contrasts. Excellent shot!
Wonder if those are buds at the top of the plant?
annjackman (13233) 2012-05-05 23:25
This strange plant immediately gives the impression of being adapted for the harsh environment. Your POV puts it into context of the wider landscape so that it makes a very pleasing composition as well as an interesting record. Very high quality image as usual from you.
Best wishes, Ann
Nard (6913) 2012-05-06 2:40
Interresting notes and beautiful colored picture merging the green of the plant, the sand and the sky. perfect sharpness and good framing making a focus on the plant. The nature is incredible, we wonder how something can live there.
jester5 (1620) 2012-05-07 4:54
Extraordinary plant,how anything survives in the heat of the desert is amazing and I suppose only two leaves in an attempt to not lose any moisture.
Beautiful photograph as always Rosemary and the whole series is excellent with very interesting notes to go with them. Thank you.
adores (28248) 2012-05-14 18:12
You really have a great series of Namibia! This plant seems amazing and it really stands out in the desert! Light, colours and sharpness are perfect and you even got a very beautiful sky! Great shot!
- Copyright: Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) (18792)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-04-10
- Categories: Nature
- Exposure: f/22, 1/160 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Namibian Landscapes 2 [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2012-05-01 0:40