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Drosera ascendens

Range: Diamantina Plateau, Brazil

Rediscovered in 2013 after over 200 years, this odd sundew grows only in a small area on the northern Diamantina plateau, in thin sandy soils along seasonal or perennial sources of moisture at a level where only moderate moisture is present. Plants may develop stems up to 12 cm in length, with rosettes of petiolate strap shaped to lanceolate leaves that develop at first upright before aging into a skirt; petioles are often nearly as long as the lamina and distinctly broad. Color is bright scarlet red throughout, or greenish at the leaf bases, with a silvery lining of hairs on the back side of the petiole. Flower stalks are unique in the new world, curving outward before ascending and covered in dense, thick red hairs along the entire length. The flowers themselves are rather large, up to 2 cm across and a pale pink color across the broadly obovate petals.

 

Cultivation: grow in a 3:1 sand/peat mix, kept very moist and humid, with temps of 60-75°F daytime and a nighttime drop into the mid-50’s, year round. Sow seeds on soil surface, and grow in bright sun.

 

Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed and occasional offshoots from the stem, and can be grown through leaf or root cuttings.

 

Sources: Gonella et al. (2014). Exhuming Saint-Hilaire: revision of the Drosera villosa complex (Droseraceae) supports 200 year-old neglected species concepts. Phytotaxa 156(1): 1-40.