Longest leaf lifespan
Who
Welwitschia mirabilis
What
500-600 year(s)
Where
Namibia (Namib desert)
When
1859
The longest-lived leaves of all plants belong to the welwitschia (Welwitschia mirabilis), named after botanist, Dr Friedrich Welwitsch (Austria), who discovered the plant (looking like a "stranded octopus") in 1859 in its native Namib Desert of Namibia and Angola. The welwitschia has an estimated lifespan of between 400-1,500 years, with some specimens carbon-dated to 2,000 years old. Each plant produces two leaves per century, and never sheds them. Ancient individuals sprawl out over 10 m (33 ft) in circumference, with enough foliage to cover a 400-m (1,312-ft) athletic field.