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Drosera - Australian - Sundews

GENUS: Drosera

A genus of over 100 species of sticky-leaved perrenials (and a few annuals,) distributed around the world in all climatic zones from the Arctic to sub-saharan Africa. Many are easily grown, and make excellent house plants if planted in peat:sand mix and stood in a saucer of rainwater on a sunny windowsill.

Australian species

Species not forming tubers, as they grow in wet conditions all year round. Most are easily propagated from root cuttings, and will regenerate readily in the event of the loss of the visible plant. Presumably this is an adaptation allowing them to survive bush fires in their native habitat. Except where otherwise noted, all species thrive in 2:1 peat:sand, kept frost-free in full sun. Tray water.

SPECIES: D. adelae - Common Name: None - Distribution: Australia

Variable perennial with long lanceolate to short elliptical leaves emerging from a short stem. several to many,tiny red or green flowers produced sporadically through the year.

Cultivation: as for S.African spp., but kept warmer in the winter, and doesn't appreciate low humidity. Protect from scorching light. Suitable for beginners.

SPECIES: D. arcturi - Common Name: None - Distribution: Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand

Very pretty but difficult sp., with short lanceolate leaves and white flowers.

Cultivation: This sp. requires very cold growing conditions due to the altitude it grows at in habitat, with a long winter dormancy (September-April.) Use 1:1 peat:sand kept wet. Full sun. Maintain at 7-15C through growing season, with heavy frosts in winter.

SPECIES: D. binata - FORM: dichotoma - Common Name: Fork-leaved Sundew - Distribution: Australia, New Zealand

A large form with forked leaves up to 12" that divide twice, coming to 4 points. Particularly suitable for hanging baskets.

SPECIES: D. binata - FORM: multifida - Common Name: Fork-leaved Sundew - Distribution: Australia, New Zealand

A very large form with leaves multiply forked (resembling sheets of sticky lace on larger specimens,) - particularly suitable for hanging baskets. In fact this is almost the only way to grow them, as the weight of the leaves is far greater than the slender petioles can support, and they flop about all over the place. Presumably they are supported by grasses, etc. in the wild.

SPECIES: D. binata - FORM: 'T-form' - Common Name: Fork-leaved Sundew - Distribution: Australia, New Zealand

A large form (though smaller T-forms do also exist,) with leaves forked into a 'Y' shape. This (and the other D.binata varieties,) will spread to fill any size pot, and can be effortlessly propagated by root cuttings. This is a good thing, as they are self-sterile and not especially reliable from seed.

SPECIES: D. burmanii - Common Name: None - Distribution: Australia, New Zealand, S.E. Asia

An annual sp. closely related to the S.American D.sessilifolia - this sundew has one of the fastest reaction times in the genus, with tentacles capable of folding 180 degrees around prey in under 60 seconds. Tiny rosettes of very wide, dimpled, spathulate leaves.

SPECIES: D. hamiltonii - Common Name: None - Distribution: Australia

Large red rosettes, producing very large dark pink flowers in the Spring, most reliably when exposed to a couple of near-frosts. Endangered in the wild because of agricultural development, but easy in cultivation - recommended for beginners.

SPECIES: D. indica - Common Name: None - Distribution: Australia

Extremely variable annual with long lanceolate leaves and typically white flowers.

Cultivation: for this tropical sp.: 2:1 sand:peat, tray water, full sun. Keep hot (85-105F)

SPECIES: D. prolifera - Common Name: None - Distribution: Australia

Variable perennial with small, cordate leaves on (comparatively,) long petioles. Name relates to proliferate habit, forming new plantlets along the flower scapes.

Cultivation: as for D.adelae, but even more sensitive to low humidity and bright light, so keep half shaded.

SPECIES: D. schizandra - Common Name: None - Distribution: Australia

Extremely large tropical perennial with large, round leaves forming a rosette up to 8" or more across.

Cultivation: Very sensitive to low humidity and bright light, so keep very shaded and covered with propagating dome or similar. 1:1 peat:sand, tray watered.

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