Welwitschia is known as the plant with the longest living leaves. How many leaves does it produce in its centuries-spanning lifetime?

One
Two
More than 100
More than 1000
Wel­witschia is endemic to the Namib desert. The age of in­di­vid­u­al plants is dif­fi­cult to assess, but many plants may be over 1000 (or even 2000) years old. Because Wel­witschia only produces a single pair of foliage leaves, the plant was thought by some to be neotenic, con­sist­ing es­sen­tial­ly of a "giant seedling." However, research showed that its anatomy is not con­sis­tent with the giant seedling idea. Instead, the plant is more ac­cu­rate­ly thought of as achiev­ing its unusual mor­phol­o­gy as a result of having "lost its head" (apical meris­tem) at an early stage.

Answers distribution

One
Two
More than 100
More than 1000
answers
flagGermany
10%
42%
26%
21%
19
flagthe United Kingdom
9%
28%
31%
31%
32
flagPoland
12%
26%
35%
23%
1317
flagUnknown
10%
25%
44%
18%
158

Gender

men24%
women24%
One
13%
12%
Two
24%
24%
More than 100
38%
37%
More than 1000
23%
25%

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Welwitschia is known as the plant with the longest living leaves. How many leaves does it produce in its centuries-spanning lifetime?
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Author: Katarzyna Dąbrowska
Illustration: Joachim Huber
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