''Welwitschia'' is a monotypic gymnosperm genus, comprising solely the very distinct ''Welwitschia mirabilis''. The plant is commonly known simply as Welwitschia, and has various common names in local languages, for example ''kharos'' or ''khurub'' in Nama, ''tweeblaarkanniedood'' in Afrikaans, ''nyanka'' in Damara, and ''onyanga'' in Herero. It is the only genus of the family Welwitschiaceae and order Welwitschiales, in the division Gnetophyta. Informal sources commonly refer to the plant as a "living fossil". ''Welwitschia mirabilis'' is endemic to the Namib desert within Namibia and Angola.