Photographer's Note

Welwitschia mirabilis is recognized as the oldest plant of the world (!) so it is named a living fossil. It is a unique desert plant that looks like a giant octopus.
You can see here the female specimen in the foreground and male specimen in the background. It is estimated that both of them are about 700 years old!

Welwitschia is the most famous Namibian plant. Most specimen are about 1000 years old, some even older. In 1859 the "living fossil" was discovered by the Austrian botanist Dr. Welwitsch and named after him. The Welwitschia plant only grows two leaves, which over time get slightly shredded by the wind. The desert plant belongs to the succulents, i.e. is able to store water. It takes the water it needs for growing from the air. Welwitschias occur exclusively in the central part of the Namib desert, between 40 and 120 kilometres off the coast.

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Additional Photos by Andrzej Urbaniec (Deepforest) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 449 W: 57 N: 962] (9260)
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