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Welwitschia-Annex, House A

This small house built as an annex of the main tropical greenhouse contains the famous Welwitschia mirabilis and other plants from the Namib desert of SW Africa and adjacent regions. Welwitschia mirabilis is the only species of the gymnospermous family Welwitschiaceae from the Namib desert and the southern coastal region of Angola. Among botanists and horticulturists, the Botanic Garden Berlin-Dahlem is well-known for the successful cultivation of Welwitschia from seed to flower. Plants grown from seed in 1946 and planted in this glasshouse in 1969, and smaller plants grown from seeds harvested in cultivation in Berlin-Dahlem form a quite spectacular display. Some even larger specimens of the same age grow in a small glasshouse not generally accessible.

Welwitschia mirabilis subsp. mirabilis, male left, female right.

Other desert plants shown here belong to the succulent Aizoaceae (Lithops, Conophytum), Liliaceae (Haworthia), Geraniaceae (Sarcocaulon), Crassulaceae (Crassula), and Portulacaceae (Anacampseros), including some referred-to as "living stones" or mimicry plants.                  
[Text: Beat Ernst Leuenberger]

The two subspecies of Welwitschia mirabilis in Berlin-Dahlem >>>

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