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Drosera adelae

D. adelae Giant 1.jpg

Range: Rockingham Bay region, northeastern Queensland, Australia


Known as the Adelaide or lance-leafed sundew, this is one of the 4 (formerly 3) “Sisters of Queensland,” unique species in that they are adapted to life in relatively shaded habitats within the rainforests of southern Cape York in Queensland. This species is more adapted to strong light than most of the others, and can be found in a range of habitats from gloomy overhangs on rock wall seeps and waterfalls to stream banks and exposed wet slopes, sometimes in places of constant moisture and other times in locations where they experience a pronounced dry season which triggers die-back to the roots. Plants vary in size depending on conditions, from 15-20 cm all the way up to nearly 50 cm in diameter, with narrow lanceolate leaves when mature bearing almost no petiole and lamina often pubescent abaxially and covered in large tentacles adaxially; seedlings or young plantlets often produce nearly rounded to obovate leaves until they’re at least 8 cm or more in diameter. In shade plants may be entirely green, or under strong light many will turn brilliant crimson to bloody red. Seasonal or other conditional triggers may occasionally cause plants to put up one or more inflorescences up to 35 cm in height, covered in numerous long white hairs and bearing sometimes up to 30 or more blooms. Each flower is often no more than 1 cm in diameter, with 5 triangular petals arranged in a stellate pattern and ranging from creamy or orange to most commonly bright scarlet. As none of its closest relatives have similar leaves nor do any other species in the region, this taxon is rarely confused with any other.


Cultivation: most favored conditions may vary per person or even in different locations within a growing space. An aerated soil mix is usually best, either a perlite-heavy peat soil or long-fiber or living sphagnum mixed with perlite or kept loose. Keep moist but preferably not sopping wet and moderately humid at all times, and plants are reported to do best when the developing stems remain surrounded by moist media (live sphagnum on the surface can help maintain this). Grow in cool temps of preferably 65-75°F (though can often tolerate higher temperatures when in shadier conditions, and keep in bright shade to dappled or diffused sunlight.


Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed (rarely, often requires multiple unique clones or simply rare successful pollination attempts) and often by root offsets (its primary reproductive strategy). Can be grown through root, leaf, or offset cuttings.



D. adelae Giant.jpg

D. adelae "giant" (significance of size difference from "normal" clones is questionable) under new conditions or shady environments will sport broader, bright green leaves. A small, round-leaved plantlet can be seen in the upper right of the pot.

D. adelae Giant 2.jpg

D. adelae "giant" under strong light, showing more slender, deep red growth.

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