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Drosera derbyensis

Drosera derbyensis from near Prison Tree, a national landmark in Western Australia. Note the dense hairs of the petiole.

Range: Kimberley and Yampi Peninsula, Buccaneer Archipelago, Western Australia

Named for the city near which it was discovered, this woolly sundew species earns the group nickname. Found on and around the Yampi Peninsula region, it grows in sandy soils near sandstone outcrops and in seasonally flooded savannah habitats. Active growth is up to 12 cm in diameter, with a semi-erect rosette of numerous slender leaves. Petioles are nearly linear or narrowly oblanceolate, slightly broader near the apex before narrowing by the lamina, and covered in dense simple white hairs. Lamina are rounded, very small at the leaf tip, covered on the back by the same white hairs as the petiole and glandular on the upper surface. Coloration is green, turned silvery by the hairs, with orange-ish to red lamina and red tentacles. Dormant rosettes die back to a dense hairy tuft. Inflorescences may reach up to 35 cm tall, just as densely hairy as the leaves in the upper portions and bearing up to 50 or more blooms. Flowers are just over 1 cm in diameter, with oblong or obovate petals colored white with a translucent midvein. This species can be distinguished from its relatives such as D. lanata and broomensis by the simple hairs rather than dendritic (star-like) and notably woolly upper flower stalk.


Cultivation: grow in a 2:1 sand/peat mix or loose sphagnum/perlite soil, kept moist during active growth and humid and 70-90°F year-round. Should plants begin to die back for dormancy, allow soil to dry almost entirely until growth resumes. Sow seeds on soil surface (old seeds may require smokewater or GA3 treatment), and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.


Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed and naturaly division, and can be grown through leaf pullings or manual dividing.


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

D. derbyensis  Prison Tree flower.

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