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Welwitschia, also known as tumboa, family of desert plants (Welwitschia mirabilis) that grow in Africa. The Welwitschia is a large, slow-growing plant that lives 100 or more years, and may reach an age of 1,000–2,000 years. Its long main root extends into a short, cone-shaped trunk that spreads to a width of 5–6 ft (1.5–1.8 m). At the base of the trunk grow a pair of leaves 2–3 ft (61–91 cm) wide and 4–6 ft (1.2–1.8 m) long. These leaves, which grow for the entire life of the plant, are usually shredded into thinner strips by strong desert winds and sand.

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