Welwitschia mirabilis

Welwitschia mirabilis a gymnospermous plant of desert regions in southwestern Africa that has a dwarf, massive trunk, two long strap-shaped leaves, and male and female flowers in the scales of scarlet cones.

It is remarkable for its ability to extract moisture from fog.

The Welwitschia is endemic to the Namib Desert, which is one of the world’s oldest deserts with extreme arid conditions stretching in the western part of Namibia along the coast up to the southwestern part of Angola.

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The area receives no rainfall during some years.

To capture moisture from sea fog, the welwitschia, also known as tree tumbo, has evolved different leaves.

These leaves become tattered and frayed with time which causes the plant to be, described as octopus-like.

Welwitschias have several special adaptations that allow them to live in the desert.

They have unique structures on their leaves that will enable them to harvest moisture from the dew that forms at night.

They also can perform CAM photosynthesis; they are the only gymnosperm that has this ability.

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