Welwitschia


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Related to Welwitschia: gnetum
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Welwitschia

 

(Welwitschia bainesii, W. mirabilis), a gymnospermous dioecious plant of the Welwitschiaceae family. The single representative of this family grows on the infertile rocky soils of southwest Angola and in the Namib and Kalahari deserts. The long powerful roots of the welwitschia reach to the level of the ground waters. The stalk is low and thick (to 1.2 m in diameter) and columnar; its greatest part is hidden in the ground, with only a small portion (to 0.5 m) emerging above. The upper part of the stalk is more or less saddle-like or bilobate with thong-like leathery leaves (to 3 m long) along the edges of the laminae. The leaves are retained until the end of the plant’s life (100 years and more). On adult plants the leaves break into ribbon-like strips.

REFERENCE

A. L. Takhtadzhian. Vysshie rasteniia, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Secondary growth and wood histology of Welwitschia. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 118: 107-121.
Caption: Samuel Neshuku, Director at Nam Career Service and a member of Welwitschia Education Iniative.
They include the oryx, springbok and the Welwitschia mirabilis, a desert shrub, the oldest of which is estimated to be 1,500 years old.
In your article on Welwitschia mirabilis, you state that "botanists have classified it with conifers." On the contrary, botanists classify it in the phylum Gnetophyta, along with Gnetum and Ephedra, rather than in the phylum Coniferophyta.
Extant seed plants comprise five clades [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED]: cycads, Ginkgo, conifers, angiosperms, and Gnetales (Ephedra, Welwitschia, Gnetum).
Namibite was first described as a new mineral by von Knorring and Sahama (1981) from a small, polymetallic, hydrothermal quartz vein deposit near Khorixas (formerly Welwitschia) in northwestern Namibia.
Profiles of animals (camels, alpaca, rattlesnakes, scorpions), plants (saguaros, tumbleweeds, date palms, Welwitschia) and people (Zuni, aborigines, Tuareg) enliven descriptions of deserts around the world.
The wood of conifers shows no protracted juvenilism (except perhaps in rays of Welwitschia), However, angiosperms have a rich assemblage of juvenile features the expression of which may extend for various periods of time--perhaps for the entire vegetative history of a particular plant (Carlquist 1962, 2009a).
What's more, some eyecatching European broodmares have been picked up by Slack's bloodstock advisor Jehan Malherbe in recent years, among them Berry Blaze, a daughter of Danehill Dancer and Strawberry Roan, a Group 1-placed half-sister to Generous and sister to Imagine; Princess Patches, a daughter of Galileo out of a half-sister to Grandera and George Washington; and Welwitschia, a Group 3 winner in South Africa by Oasis Dream out of a half-sister to Sun Chariot winner Lady In Waiting.
The Welwitschia Drive is also a great way to explore the Namibian landscape.