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Drosera anglica

D. anglica Germany.jpg

Drosera anglica from Germany.

Range: Circumboreal: North America, Europe, Asia in northern latitudes, and Hawaii


Sometimes referenced as the “English” or “Great” sundew, this species is one of the most widespread sundews on earth. Mostly restricted to northern temperate bogs, it can be found in North America in patchy distribution as far south as southern Colorado and central California and through much of Canada, across northern Europe, and east-central Russia, China, and Japan (possibly elsewhere in less-explored regions). Additionally, tropical highland populations are known from Kauai, Hawaii. It has a preference for growing in mostly acidic wetlands with sphagnum mats or acid seeps, though is also recorded in marl fens in eastern North America.

Plants may grow to 11 cm high (commonly 4-6) in rosettes of erect to semi-erect narrow leaves, with slender, nearly glabrous petioles that are slightly broader at their bases and lamina that can be short and roughly obovate to slender and linear-spathulate, typically with their widest points ¼-1/3 the way down from the tip of the leaf. Coloration varies but is typically greenish to yellow with red tentacles, sometimes capable of flushing solid red. Inflorescences are up to 25 cm high, usually shorter, and glabrous, with up to 10 flowers. The blooms are up to 1 cm across with small, rounded white petals. This species can be distinguished from its relatives by its slender erect growth form (unlike the more spreading D. intermedia) and tapering lamina (no taper on linearis), with its broadest point closer to the end of the lamina (roughly halfway to 2/3 on x obovata). If flower stalks are present, developing seedpods can distinguish it from particularly similar x obovata or its ancestral hybrid x woodii (as this species is a polyploid descendant of the latter hybrid).


Cultivation: grow in a pure peat/sphagnum to 1:1 sand/perlite and peat mix, kept very moist to even flooded and moderately humid, with temperatures between 60-85°F during summer. In winter, temperate forms will die back to hibernacula and require exposure to 8+ weeks of cold conditions before resuming growth; Hawaiian populations should be kept in warm conditions year-round. Sow seeds on soil surface and treat temperate forms to 4+ weeks of cold stratification, and grow under strong artificial light to full sun.


Lifespan and reproduction: short- to long-lived perennial. Continental southern forms have the shortest lifespan, alongside the Hawaiian forms. Reproduces via seeds and division, and can be grown via leaf or inflorescence cuttings.


Sources: Schnell, Donald (2002). Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada 2nd. Ed.

Lowrie et al. (2017). Drosera of the World Vol. 2.

D. anglica Alakai Swamp, HI.jpg
D. anglica Kanaele Bog, HI.jpg

A young plant from the Kanaele bog on Kauai, Hawaii. Similar to the Alakai form but for me trends slightly smaller.

A tropical form from the Alakai Swamp, Kauai, Hawaii. This tends to produce very slender leaves but is smaller than many mainland forms.

I have personally found this species to be a beautiful addition to the collection, but sometimes touchy to maintain. The few temperate mainland forms I have often have tendency to go dormant whenever they darn well please rather than last over the summer season, and even small amounts of nutrients in the soil can make any of them struggle to gain or maintain size. The tropical form from Alakai Swamp has been my most reliable plant, readily bouncing back even after stress and maintaining good size as well as blooming rates. Others may find greater success with temperate forms if planted in outdoor sunny bog setups.

D. anglica Germany Flower.jpg

Flower of D. anglica "Germany" locality, typical for the species.

D. anglica CA x HI.jpg

D. anglica "California x Hawaii," a subtropical evergreen form created by Ivan Snyder.

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