D. affinis "Uningi Pans, Zambia"
Range: from Dem. Rep. Congo in the North, south to Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and from Tanzania in the east, west to Angola
A tropical African endemic, this sundew is a beautiful enigma, native to many of the countries south of the Sahara but north of South Africa (at best it is recorded only in the northeast edge of South Africa) where it grows in often very wet depressions, grasslands, seeps or along stream banks. Plants may be acaulescent, or more commonly develop a stem up to 30 cm or more in length, with a loose rosette of erect to semi-erect leaves scattered along the end up to 20 cm in diameter. Leaves possess a long, narrow and often sparsely pilose petiole, and an elongate obovate to oblong-oblanceolate lamina that is often curved or folded in half length-wise. Color is bright green with scarlet tentacles to fully crimson throughout. Inflorescences are wiry and ascending, reaching up to 30 cm long and glabrous along their length, bearing up to 15 blooms. Flowers are typically only up to 1 cm across at most, with ovate to obovate light to dark pink, rarely white petals. This species can be distinguished from its relatives such as D. madagascariensis by its typical production of a basal rosette when young, narrower stem and petioles, and redder color overall, and more elongate lamina.
Cultivation: grow in a 1:1 peat/sand soil (some use sphagnum with success), kept very moist to wet but well aerated and moderately humid, with temperatures of 65-90°F year round. Sow seeds on soil surface, and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.
Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces by seed and lower stem or root offshoots. Can be propagated via leaf and root or stem cuttings.
Close-up of pilose nature of D. affinis leaves.
Flower of D. affinis "Uningi Pans, Zambia"