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Drosera burmannii

D. burmannii Tin Can Bay.jpg

D. burmannii from Tin Can Bay, Australia

Range: northern and eastern Australia, India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia


This is a widespread facultatively annual species found throughout the tropical regions of north/east Australia up through the Indonesian archipelago and across Indochina to China proper and India; there have been reports from Africa but these are almost certainly misidentifications. It is an inhabitant of anywhere permanently or ephemerally wet, including billabongs, wet seeps and cliff faces, floodplains, and savannahs. Plants range from barely 2.5 cm to, in some localities, over 6 cm across, growing as layers of rosetted roughly cuneate or very broadly spatulate leaves that typically have short but visible petioles that are typically glabrous and blocky to cuneate lamina that indent in the center and possess notably elongate snap tentacles around the outer rim. Coloration varies from pure green to entirely crimson or rusty red, often dependent on lighting and the plant’s feeding rate (more captured prey results in faster growth and a brighter green color). Inflorescences are slender and glabrous to mildly glandular, typically ascending from the crown, and may grow anywhere from 3-30 cm in height and support 5-30+ blooms that are covered on the calyces in small glands. Flowers are 0.5-1.5 cm in diameter, with roughly obovate to even diamond-shaped or near-cuneate white to light pink petals. In the wild there are no related species this may be confused with, but in cultivation it is regularly confused with its close relative D. sessilifolia, with which it can hybridize freely and can be distinguished only via a complex of traits: typically possesses an ascending inflorescence rather than erect from the crown, more triangular and elongate or sharply cornered lamina with flatter ends and a longer petiole, and longer styles in the flowers and divided stigmas as opposed to typically fan-shaped. Existence of hybrids makes identification more difficult.


Cultivation: grow in any suitable carnivorous plant soil, from pure sand to pure peat kept moist to even waterlogged at all times and temperatures preferably from 70-95°F. Feed regularly and heavily both to ensure highest seed set and keep plants alive through blooming, and sow seeds on the soil surface to germinate. Keeping seeds very warm and sowing fresh ensures best results; older seeds may have lower germination rates or take longer to sprout. Grow in strong artificial light to full sun.


Lifespan and reproduction: facultative annual, will die after flowering but can be kept alive for many years with heavy feeding and permanent moisture. Reproduces through seed only.



D. burmannii red tentacles.jpg
D. burmannii red tentacles flower.jpg

A location-less form nicknamed "red tentacles," can turn solid red but more often expresses as seen above. Standard slightly pink-tinged flowers with diamond-shaped to ovular petals

D. burmannii Gunung Keledang.jpg
D. burmannii Gunung Keledang flower.jpg

D. burmannii from Gunung Keledang, Malaysia. Possesses more rounded lamina and sometimes pink flowers, but retains longer petioles/leaves and a more ascending scape than D. sessilifolia

D. burmannii Humpty Doo.jpg

A highly red form from Humpty Doo, Northern Territory Australia. Plants are often large and can be anywhere from rusty-tinted to crimson depending on lighting and feeding.

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