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Drosera dilatatopetiolaris

Range: Kimberley region to Darwin and Humpty Doo, northern Australia

 

This woolly sundew species is part of a complex of fairly closely related species, best told apart by flowering structures rather than the rosettes of leaves. It grows in the northwestern corner of Australia, found in sandy flatlands, savannahs, and open woods in places where the soil becomes moist in the wet season but never saturates and may dry out entirely in the dry season. Wet season growth may reach over 8 cm in diameter, with a semi-erect rosette of leaves. Petioles are generally oblanceolate in structure, widest at about 2/3 the way up from the base and covered in a sparse layer of hairs (these become extremely dense in dormant rosettes), and generally sport a noticeable central keel down their length. Petioles narrow abruptly immediately before the rounded 0.5-1 cm wide rounded lamina which may present slightly folded in the middle. Coloration is generally green or lightly reddish tinted in the petioles, with lamina green to yellowish orange or solid red with scarlet tentacles. Inflorescences may reach 10-20 cm tall, with a sparse covering of whitish hairs on the peduncle but densely covered dendritic hairs around the buds. Flowers may number up to 20, up to 2 cm in diameter with smooth obovate pink to white petals that may sport a distinct translucent line down the middle. This species is most readily separated from its closest relative D. fulva by its shorter flower stalk and well-spaced blooms with semi-erect fruits.

 

Cultivation: grow in either a loose sphagnum or 2:1 sand/peat type soil mix, kept moist but not wet during active growth, with moderate humidity and temperatures of 80-95°F year round. If plants show signs of going dormant, allow soil to dry almost entirely until growth resumes. Sow seeds on soil surface (older seeds may benefit from smokewater or GA3 treatments though this is still debated), and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.

 

Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces by seed and natural division, and can be grown through leaf pullings or manual divisions.

 

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

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