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Drosera brevicornis

Range: Kimberley region to Sweers Island, Australia

This unusual woolly sundew is an inhabitant of the far northern tier of Australia, found in sandy gravel soils in depressions or shallow slopes where collecting water is slow-moving. Plants may reach nearly 7 cm in diameter, a primarily flat rosette of broad paddle leaves. Petioles are oblanceolate, tapering out from the base and then narrowing immediately before the petiole, loosely covered in white hairs on the upper surface and densely indumentous abaxially. Lamina are ovular to nearly round, usually less than a quarter to sixth the length of the petiole, frequently folded slightly lengthwise to form a more elongate appearance. Coloration varies slightly, though typically sports green petioles (sometimes red-tinged at the base or throughout) with rich yellowish-red to scarlet lamina, and deep red tentacles. Inflorescences may reach 40 cm tall, bearing up to 45 flowers in a cyme, and are densely covered in woolly hairs. Flowers may be up to 2 cm across, with moderately to broadly obovate, sometimes crenellated petals that vary greatly in color from white to pale, rich, or purplish pink often with darker midveins. This species is closely allied to D. darwinensis but can be distinguished by much taller inflorescences, projections on the stamens above the anther parts, and pendulous vs. erect fruits.

Cultivation: grow in a soil mix of perlite and sphagnum or 3:1 coarse sand and peat, kept at around 70-90°F year round and moderately moist through the growing season. Should plants begin to express reduced, hairier leaves, allow the soil to dry almost completely, watering only sparingly until signs of wet season growth reappears. Sow seeds on soil surface (older seeds may possibly appreciate smokewater or GA3 treatments, though this is still uncertain), and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.

Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed and occasional divisions, and can be grown through manual division or occasionally leaf pullings with portions of stem at the base.

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

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