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 Friedrich Welwitsch

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Join date : 2011-03-04

PostSubject: Friedrich Welwitsch   Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:34 am

Friedrich Martin Josef Welwitsch (25 February 1806 20 October 1872) was an Austrian explorer and botanist who in Angola discovered the plant Welwitschia mirabilis. His report received wide attention among the botanists and general public, comparable only to the discovery of two other plants in the 19th century, namely Victoria amazonica and Rafflesia arnoldii.[1]
In Angola, Welwitsch also discovered Rhipsalis baccifera, the only cactus species naturally occurring outside the New World. It was found a few years later in Sri Lanka too, which reignited the now already one and a half century old debate on the origin of cacti in Africa and Asia. At the time, the debate concluded with the conviction of numerous authors that they were introduced and spread by migratory birds.[1]

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