from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An African plant (Welwitschia mirabilis) belonging to the order Gnetaceæ. It consists of a short, woody, topshaped stem, and never more than two leaves, which are the cotyledons enormously developed, and at length split into diverging segments.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of gymnospermous plants, of the order Gnetaceæ, among the most remarkable in the vegetable kingdom, distinguished by diœcious many-flowered imbricated conelike spikes panicled at the margin of a short woody trunk.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. curious plant of arid regions of southwestern Africa having a yard-high and yard-wide trunk like a turnip with a deep taproot and two large persistent woody straplike leaves growing from the base; living relic of a flora long disappeared; some may be 700-5000 years old


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Visitors can get a rare look at the Welwitschia or Desert Onion on display at the U.S. Botanic Garden, a glass-domed building at the foot of the United States Capitol in Washington.

    Public Gets Rare View of Endangered Plants

  • SOME OF THE PLANET'S LONGEST-LIVED ORGANISMSNAMIBIA: Welwitschia mirabilis The 2,000-year-old welwitschia plant found in the Namib-Naukluft desert is an unlikely-looking conifer that produces only two leaves in its lifetime? the longest in the plant kingdom.

    The oldest living organisms: ancient survivors with a fragile future

  • Individual Welwitschia plants have been estimated to be upwards of 2,500 years old, have crowns of more than 1 m diameter and leaves up to 3 meters long.

    Kaokoveld desert

  • The relict gymnosperm Welwitschia mirabilis, which represents the sole surviving member of its family, is found throughout the ecoregion.

    Kaokoveld desert

  • The famous relict gymnosperm Welwitschia mirabilis is also found throughout the ecoregion, and it is often the most conspicuous feature of the vegetation, scattered about the arid plains at intervals of 50 to 100 m.

    Kaokoveld desert

  • It is estimated that the largest Welwitschia plants are about 2,500 years old.

    Namib desert

  • Welwitschia plants are up to 1.5 m tall and have two fibrous, straplike leaves, which persist throughout the entire life of the plant and curl into fantastic shapes on the ground.

    Namib desert

  • Welwitschia (Welwitschia mirabilis), Namib Desert, Namibia.

    Namib desert

  • The monotypic Welwitschia mirabilis, one of the most remarkable plants in the world, is endemic to the Namib Desert and to the Kaokoveld Desert ecoregion to the north.

    Namib desert

  • Welwitschia, the ugliest plant in the world a series of grotesqueries

    Horticultural horror « Jahsonic


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