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Drosera darwinensis

D. darwinensis from Palmerston

Range: Northern Territory southeast of Darwin, Australia

Named for the city that it was discovered near (once removed from Charles Darwin, for which the city was coined), this species is an endemic to a small region of the Northern Territory where it grows in clay-sand soils laced with laterite (an iron-rich clay rock). Plants reach an average of 5 cm in diameter, with flat rosettes of paddle-shaped leaves. Petioles are oblanceolate, narrowest at their base and gradually widening before abruptly narrowing just behind the lamina. They are covered moderately in simple hairs. Lamina are ovate to orbicular and up to a centimeter across, sometimes slightly folded down the middle. Coloration varies slightly, from green petioles and usually red lamina to entirely blood red throughout. Inflorescences may reach up to 15 cm in height, densely covered in woolly white hairs, and may bear up to 24 blooms. Flowers are just over 1 cm in diameter, roughly obovate and may be white to bright pink. This species can be distinguished from relatives such as D. brevicornis by its shorter flower stalks and stamen filaments within the flowers that are straight and not curved or projecting above the anthers, and out of flower by the smaller overall size of this species and readily lost spent inflorescence.

 

Cultivation: best grown in a very sandy peat mix or loose sphagnum and perlite, kept moist during the growing season and humid, with temperatures in the 75-90°F range all year. Should plants show signs of going dormant by reducing leaf size or dying off to their base, allow to dry to barely damp or fully dry until growth resumes. Sow seeds on soil surface (older seeds may possibly benefit from smokewater or GA3 treatment), and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.

 

Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed and natural division, and can be grown through leaf pullings or manual dividing.

 

Sources: Lowrie et al. (2017). Drosera of the World Vol. 2. Redfern Natural History Publications.

Flower of D. darwinensis from Palmerston. Unfortunately the only flower seen before the plant was lost.

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