Because of the regional climatic differences within the country, Namibia has a broad variety of plant species from desert and semi-desert vegetation to subtropical plants. Most of country is savannah with low scrubs and grasses prospering in the arid conditions. With rain, these same areas often spout various wild flowers, though seldom for long. In contrasting form, the Caprivi and Kavango regions support a great deal of aquatic plant life and leafy vegetation along the many waterways and riverbanks. But no mention of Namibian flora would be complete without the Kokerboom or quiver tree and the Welwitschia, one of the oldest plants known to man.
This quiver tree is indigenous to the southern part of Namibia and gets its common name from the Bushmen who use its branches and bark to make quivers for their arrows. The plants are aloe succulents and can reach a height of up to 9 meters in height.
East of the Skeleton Coast, the Welwitschia is another desert-adapted species that absorbs dew and precipitation from fog over specially developed structures on their leaves. It grows flat on the ground and has only two leaves from its thick trunk. The leaves continue to grow throughout the long life of the plant. It is hard to determine the age of these plants, but it is believed that they live up to 1,500 years or more.
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