Welwitschia mirabilis Hook. f.
Tree Tumbo, Tumboa, Welwitschia
Tumboa bainesii, Welwitschia bainesii, Tumboa strobilifera
Welwitschia mirabilis is a dioecious plant with a short stem and only two opposite leaves produced from marginal grooves on the crown, each splitting into many parallel sections and twisting. It is often described as wonderful, weird, strange, bizarre, fascinating, and unique. The leaves continue to grow throughout the entire life of the plant. They are broad, strap-shaped, and may reach a length of 13 feet (4 m) and over. The stem is unbranched, woody, and up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
At first glance, it would appear that Welwitschia would be almost impossible to grow, but this is only partly true. In cooler climates, Welwitschias can be grown easily as pot plants on window sills and verandas. Once established, the plant will grow steadily and is relatively disease-free. The most crucial stage is during its first eight months after germination when it is prone to a fungal attack. Also, as it is not a true succulent, it should not be treated as one. It is dependent on additional water from its roots, and if grown in a pot, care should be taken that the soil does not dry out completely.
When growing Welwitschia, a few important factors are considered: the long taproot, its dependence on extra moisture, and the soil used.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Welwitschia.
This species is endemic to the Namib desert within Namibia and Angola.
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