What are two plants found in Africa?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

There are countless fascinating and lesser-known plants found in Africa, but two that stand out are the Welwitschia mirabilis and the Aloe dichotoma.

1. Welwitschia mirabilis (tree tumbo):
The Welwitschia mirabilis, also known as the tree tumbo, is a truly remarkable plant found in the Namib Desert. It is a living fossil and is considered one of the oldest living plants on Earth, with some individuals estimated to be over 2,000 years old. This plant has a unique appearance, with just two leaves that grow continuously throughout its lifetime, giving it a distinctive, almost surreal appearance. These leaves can grow to be several meters long and are split into numerous strap-like segments. The Welwitschia mirabilis is a true survivor, as it can withstand extreme desert conditions, including high temperatures, strong winds, and scarce water resources.

2. Aloe dichotoma (quiver tree):
The Aloe dichotoma, commonly known as the quiver tree, is a striking succulent tree found in the arid regions of southern Africa, particularly in Namibia and South Africa. Its name comes from the traditional use of its hollowed-out branches by indigenous San people, who used them to make quivers for their arrows. The quiver tree can reach heights of up to 9 meters, with a thick trunk and branches that spread out like a fan. Its leaves are thick and succulent, and they have a grey-green color with a rough texture. The quiver tree is well-adapted to survive in harsh desert conditions, storing water in its trunk and leaves to withstand long periods of drought. It also produces vibrant orange flowers, which attract birds and insects for pollination.

These two plants, the Welwitschia mirabilis and the Aloe dichotoma, are just a glimpse into the incredible diversity of African flora. Each plant has its unique adaptations and survival strategies, showcasing the resilience and beauty of nature in the African continent.