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PlantFiles: Welwitschia, Wonderplant
Welwitschia mirabilis

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Family: Welwitschiaceae
Genus: Welwitschia (vel-VITCH-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: mirabilis (mih-RAB-ih-liss) (Info)

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

Height:
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Welwitschia mirabilis by palmbob

By palmbob
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By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Welwitschia mirabilis by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #4 of Welwitschia mirabilis by palmbob

By palmbob
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By palmbob
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By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #7 of Welwitschia mirabilis by Xenomorf

There are a total of 32 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

No positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral BayAreaTropics On Nov 11, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Despite the image this plant conjures up-the dry deserts,great drought tolerence for ages....It actually requires regular watering as a potted plant.In fact, let a seedling become "cactus dry" just once, and like some tree ferns, it croaks! And the local botanical garden has large ones in a greenhouse that is decidedly non tropical in winter.Tricky to maintain...
And to grow from photo three size to photo two size takes 10-15 years.

Neutral palmbob On Jan 30, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the weirder plants you can get for a warm, dry xeriscape garden. It is a native on Nambia and lives in open, sandy desert often as the only plant around for miles. It is a very low growing 'thing' with only two leaves that continue to grow for centuries, slowly creating a pile of twisted, long, thick, leathery dull green strap-like leaves. In cultivation it is a curiosity only- not a very attractive plant. But old plants are worth a fortune. I have only seen this plant available more commonly for sale in the last 5 years. You can only get dinky ones and it is a plant you need to put in your will so your grandchildren can brag about it. It's unique and the only plant in its family.

Neutral Monocromatico On Aug 11, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a bizarre short plant from the semi-deserts of southern Africa. It has a short woody stem that grows very slowly. On the top of the stem (looks like a disk) there are two leaves. Those are the only leaves the plant will have for its whole life (that can be rather long, by the way). Those leaves are very long, reaching up to 2,5m long, taking decades to reach that lenght. The tips often get teared, spliting the leaves in many stripes that can make one think it has many leaves. As a Gymnosperm, it produces small reddish-brown cones.

It comes from the desert, so make sure you have a sandy/rocky soil, little water and full sun. Protect it from shocks and from the wind if you want the leaves to be intact.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler Heights, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Bostonia, California
Simi Valley, California



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