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Drosera banksii

Range: northern Australia, western Papua New Guinea, and Luzon, Philippines


Banks’ Sundew is an unusual annual member of the Petiolaris complex, and potentially the only one found outside of the Austro-Papuan region with a 2016 confirmation of a disjunct population in southwestern Luzon (theorized to have been established there by migratory birds). It is an inhabitant in both regions of iron-rich clay-loam soils or sandy/sandstone substrates along the edges of seasonal creeks and other waterways that dry out for part of the year. Plants may reach up to 12 cm in height, with usually a singular but sometimes branching stem bearing alternating leaves with a full diameter of about 3 cm; the growth habit resembles other stem-forming woolly sundews but also some of the smaller climbing tuberous sundew species. Petioles are held semi-erect and are slender, with sparse hairs; the lamina are slightly peltate and held vertically, with attachment near the upper edge, roughly reniform to almost ovular and wider than long. Coloration is greenish to red-flushed with orange or red-hued lamina. Inflorescences are only around 3 cm long, with a covering of small flattened hairs, and may bear up to 16 flowers. Flowers are just over half a centimeter in diameter, with red sepals and narrowly obovate-spathulate white petals. This species has closest affinity to the other annual member of the group, D. subtilis, but is distinguished by having a distinctive indumentum on all parts of the plant and reniform lamina shape, and its size and annual nature distinguish it from all similar stem-forming species.


Cultivation: grow in a 3:1 sand/peat mix, kept moist to moderately wet through most of the year with temperatures of 75-95°F year round. Feed heavily to encourage seed production, and avoid drying out before plants set seed. Sow seeds on soil surface (older seeds may benefit from smoke or GA3 treatments, but this is unconfirmed for effectiveness), and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.


Lifespan and reproduction: annual, though may be short-lived biennial in cultivation. Reproduces via seed only.


Sources: copyright

Lowrie et al. (2017). Drosera of the World Vol. 2 and 3. Redfern Natural History Publishing.

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