Welwitschia

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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The Welwitschias:Casper Viviers, Louis van der Westhuizen, Johannes Coetzee, Mahepisa Tjeriko, Tjiuee Uanivi, Wian Conradie, Janco Venter, PJ van Lill, Eugene Jantjies, Cliven Loubser, JC Greyling, Darryl de la Harpe, Johan Deysel (captain), Johann Tromp and Chrysander Botha.
"They (Welwitschias) started badly with the defeat to Kenya but they bounced back to win against Zimbabwe and with on the pressure for them to do well on their final match, against the host Madagascar, they were true professionals and brave sons of the soil who were prepared to realize their dream by sweat or blood as they soldiered on and victory is ours as Namibians," Muinjo acknowledged.
Anton von Wietersheim (MP) who spoke of the passion Joh Henschel has for nature, especially the Welwitschia plant.
His experience with the Namib started in 1977 when he followed spotted hyaenas in the Kuiseb Canyon, and later conducted research on spiders, insects, climate, Welwitschia and a host of other subjects published in 120 scientific articles and many more popular writings.
It was hard to see the Welwitschias. It looked pretty, absolutely pretty." The lush green lasted a few weeks, but Von Willert could detect the effects on some plants months later.
"We had a hard time getting the guide back focused on Welwitschias," Jernstedt says.
A Namibia, nicknamed the Welwitschias or Biltongboere, made their World Cup bow in 1999 and are now competing in their fourth successive tournament.
The Welwitschias of the Messum crater are among the largest and oldest in the world.
The Welwitschias arrived in Portugal this week and are ready to conquer the Iberian Peninsula on Saturday, 7 November when they face off against the Portuguese.
If the Welwitschias slip up away from home, they will have a chance to correct whatever mistakes they committed in Abdjan in the second leg on 27 June in Windhoek.
Meanwhile South Africa's Springboks will play against the Welwitschias Invitational Fifteen at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
I found the article on Welwitschia ("Torn to ribbons in the desert," SN: 10/27/01, p.