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Welwitschia mirabilis

By ColleenA
Good morning....
thank you for your kind votes and comments on yesterdays desert images and especially to Billy (wiliamsloane) for his UA, much appreciated
Peter asked yesterday if I got any images of the plant life in the desert.....the answer is yes, today I start off with the most famous of them....
This plant is one of the few things on earth that can truly be called one of a kind. It consists of two leaves and a stem base with roots that go down about a metre into the soil. The middle stem of the plant is as hard as tree bark. Both leaves grow from opposite sides of the stem and will continue to grow and never drops and instead gets brown by the sun on the edges and become torn by the wind which eventually makes it look as if it has many narrow leaves. The stem gets thicker rather than higher although it can grow up to six feet in length. At the age of 20, cone-like flowers appear. The female plant produces up to 100 flowers in a season, while the male plant produces an abundance of pollen. Its lifespan is estimated to reach 2000 years. The plant is considered a living fossil. You will notice a colourful bug on the right side on one of the flowers, more about them later.
V2 the full picture ...this plant is over 1000 years old
V3 the male flower
V4 to show you how it starts off with 2 wide leaves.
V5 shows how thick the leaves are, they are hard as leather and no animal can bite into it at all.

Tags: Flowers and plants Wildlife and nature Namib desert Welwitschia

Voters: NDODS, CarolG, cabbie and 75 more

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Comments


NDODS Plus
5 4.9k 125 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 6:06AM
Wonderful images Colleen. The buds look like legless woodlice...

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin

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CarolG Plus
9 195 18 Greece
28 Feb 2014 6:09AM
What a very strange plant, Colleen, and a most informative write-up. I love Nathan's description of the flowers, I immediately thought of something else, but won't say what Wink Carol
28 Feb 2014 6:14AM
Well we learn something every day.
Never seen or heard of this plant before.
Great pictures and write-up, Colleen.
Andysnapper 8 109 25 England
28 Feb 2014 6:32AM
Just remarkable, what an amazing World we live on. Great shots, informative write-up and any day I learn something new is a good day so thank you Colleen.

Andy
28 Feb 2014 6:39AM

Quote:Well we learn something every day. --- I agree in everything! - Never seen before. - Very good photography , Colleen! GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin --- Jukka.Smile
Never seen or heard of this plant before.
Great pictures and write-up, Colleen.

LynneJoyce Plus
8 20 99 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 6:48AM
Absolutely fascinating, the images and the write up.
Caziwinkles 3 3 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 6:49AM
Super write up Colleen - we certainly live and learn on here!
I think I might be on the same wavelength as Carol above! Wink

Carol
andylea 7 37 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 7:00AM
wonderful detail and textures colleen brilliant colour and light v1 for me today a cracker nice one Wink
andy
SUE118 Plus
8 8 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 7:28AM
Pink legless woodlice and they also remind me of a sweet I use to enjoy as a child before I became Diabetic but I can't think what they were called.
28 Feb 2014 7:38AM
Whoah.....how amazing
Isn't it wonderful how nature adapts to the environment
It seems that humans are the only ones to adapt their environment to suit themselves
Can't wait for your other finds whilst you were away
RonnieAG Plus
6 153 116 Scotland
28 Feb 2014 7:41AM
What a fascinating narrative about this desert plant and it's life cycle: and the various stages so well documented in these interesting set, Colleen.
R.
fotobee Plus
2 4 3 South Africa
28 Feb 2014 7:42AM
The old "kanniedood" plant. Absolutely super shots, but I prefer v5, as this shows both the leaves and fruit in more close-up detail. Regards Martin
netta1234 Plus
4 335 2 Wales
28 Feb 2014 7:45AM
Very interesting Colleen,great set of images with lovely colours and detailSmile
NettaSmile
Nikonuser1 Plus
3 37 10 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 7:48AM
What a interesting plant Colleen, a great set of images with a great write upSmile


Cliff
Bantu Plus
2 6 1 India
28 Feb 2014 7:58AM
Beautiful exposure and capture.
28 Feb 2014 8:08AM
Interesting Colleen, a fine set of images,
Fred.
viscostatic 10 34 5 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 8:26AM
Amazing information Colleen and beautiful images too.

Phil.
Rock Plus
14 10 2 England
28 Feb 2014 8:44AM
Simply wonderful work.

Rock
28 Feb 2014 9:17AM
Amazing plant and excellent photography. I certainly learn a lot from ephoto. Great write-up and fascinating information about a plant that I had never heard of before, let alone see. I am looking forward to seeing more from Namibia.

Maureen
Mollycat Plus
2 11 2 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 9:28AM
Excellent narrative to accompany your pictures of this amazing plant Colleen.
Peter.
Superb set of images of a unique plant, Colleen. Excellent narrative.

Fred
debu 6 India
28 Feb 2014 9:47AM
Beautiful images.
debu
gss 2 1 Romania
28 Feb 2014 11:12AM
I knew about this extraordinary form of life, and its age, but I never seen images ( only paintings). A great set of pictures and a very good information too!
Silviu
Tish1 Plus
3 16 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 11:14AM

Quote:Wonderful images Colleen. The buds look like legless woodlice...

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin



My sentiments exactly

Tish
gary_d Plus
8 576 13 Wales
28 Feb 2014 11:33AM
Very interesting images and information, its amazing how anything can grow in those conditions. - gary
JuBarney 5 20 3 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 11:36AM
Really interesting shots & write up.
Ju
Irishkate Plus
5 33 97 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 11:40AM
Utterly fascinating Colleen - if you didn't go on a guided tour I guess you wouldn't learn
so much about wildlife. isn't nature amazing?
Excellent images showing the plant in all it's phases.
Kate GrinGrinGrin
ColleenA Plus
4 317 3 Australia
28 Feb 2014 11:47AM

Quote:Utterly fascinating Colleen - if you didn't go on a guided tour I guess you wouldn't learn
so much about wildlife. isn't nature amazing?
Excellent images showing the plant in all it's phases.
Kate GrinGrinGrin


No one is allowed into the desert alone, it's barren, very scary and one would never find your way out again, but I agree a local guide is always handy when one needs to learn about the area....
28 Feb 2014 12:01PM
a good documentary set here Colleen with a fine informative narrative good work

Graham
28 Feb 2014 12:14PM
Gorgeous set Colleen, I havent seen or heard of these plants, great write up and V1 and V3 are my favs. Best wishes Patty SmileSmileSmile
mikbee 9 3 8 Scotland
28 Feb 2014 1:08PM
A first sight of these plants for me Colleen !!
Interesting set.
Good shots.
Mick.
28 Feb 2014 2:23PM
Wonderful sets, I favor V1, nice story also.
28 Feb 2014 2:30PM
Great set of images with an interesting narrative ColleenGrin
TrevBatWCC Plus
8 12 10 England
28 Feb 2014 2:54PM
It really is educational on this site! A wonderful set of this unusual plant, Colleen, and an interesting write-up, too Wink
Trev Smile
ali63 Plus
4 739 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 2:59PM
What an amazing plant Colleen, great images,

Ali GrinGrin
28 Feb 2014 5:54PM
Bonus for the write up that makes it so beautiful
28 Feb 2014 5:58PM
It's an education Colleen. Fascinating stuff.
L
EileenH 3 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 6:01PM
Nice interesting images

Eileen
carper123 Plus
4 914 8 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 6:12PM
A fantastic set of images on a theme, Colleen, just luv v1, a real stand out image, a cracking piece of work.
Well done,
Darryl. SmileSmileSmile x
28 Feb 2014 6:18PM
What wonderful flowers, Colleen.

P.
mistere Plus
3 1 3 England
28 Feb 2014 6:22PM

Quote:Just remarkable, what an amazing World we live on. Great shots, informative write-up and any day I learn something new is a good day so thank you Colleen.

Andy



Have to agree with andy here, and everyone else. Excellent work Colleen.

Dave.
evelen 11 5 England
28 Feb 2014 6:27PM
great capture lovely plant , I have just noticed colleen you live in south Africa . we lived there 40 years ago for 4years a lovely place we travelled to a lot of places I still think about it .
eve.SmileSmile
EMJAYCEE Plus
7 9 10 England
28 Feb 2014 6:51PM
A beautiful way to have a nature lesson Colleen and superb photography as well.
Joan.
dark_lord Plus
12 1.8k 318 England
28 Feb 2014 7:11PM
Very interesting, and amazing how the plant has evolved and adapted for the desert environment. Informative images.
From a purely photographic point of view a slight crop for V1 would make it bolder as there's little interesting detail in the right fifth of the frame.

Keith
jaktis Plus
12 84 Sweden
28 Feb 2014 7:16PM
What an interesting plant

Peter
ColleenA Plus
4 317 3 Australia
28 Feb 2014 7:17PM

Quote:Very interesting, and amazing how the plant has evolved and adapted for the desert environment. Informative images.
From a purely photographic point of view a slight crop for V1 would make it bolder as there's little interesting detail in the right fifth of the frame.

Keith


I totally agree...I have so many images of these plants, decided to upload this wider shot to show that the plant has a lot more flowers than the ones on the left....more close ups tomorrow with bugs....GrinGrinGrin
Mike_Smith Plus
9 290 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 7:31PM
I never knew these existed Colleen until now, i am amazed at how old they can grow too. Great set of shots, and interesting narrative
a very informative and well taken set super



billy
Chinga Plus
5 1 1 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 8:42PM
V1 and V4 are favorites.... Beautiful plant... IB
28 Feb 2014 10:05PM
Really interesting Colleen. Love V1. Super set. Cathy
BIGRY1 Plus
4 3 7 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2014 10:06PM
Great images and great info too. A 1000 year old plant! That is quite astonishing!Grin
Ryan
28 Feb 2014 11:19PM
Beautiful images, Colleen!
Regards,
George
So very, very interesting Colleen. It is amazing what can grow where it looks as if nothing could!!

Fantastic set, which was so terrifically enhanced by the narrative.

Lynette Grin
3 Mar 2014 12:58AM
Amazing set with lovely narration.
Beautiful capture; interesting explanantion.

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