Record Breakers

Toughest Plant in the World?

The Welwitschia Mirabilis also known as Onyanga meaning Onion of the Desert is often cited as the toughest plant in the world. And you thought it was the dandelion! Pfffft.

The complete opposite of the World’s Largest Flower which is all blossom and no stem or leaves, the Welwitschia Mirabilis is all stem and leaves with no flower.

Welwitschia mirabilis
Welwitschia Mirabilis

What makes it so tough? Well, it isn’t its boxing ability but it can fight off a drought. In fact this plant can go an astonishing five years without a drop to drink. That’s pretty tough.

And the Welwitschia Mirabilis is big. We’re talking gargantuan. Instead of growing tall, it grows ridiculously wide. Its stem measures in at close to 2 meters (6 feet) high but sprawls up to 8 meters (24 feet) wide. In other words, these plants are hard to miss.

Welwitschia Mirabilis have a lifespan of 500 – 1500 years with some specimens thought to be as old as 2000 years.

The plant is edible either raw or cooked, which is how it gets its name ‘Onion in the Desert’.

You could feed an army with one these babies, and who knows? Somewhere back in history someone probably did.

They are said to be delicious.

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