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Drosera hartmeyerorum

Range: northwest Australia from Broome to Keep River

Perhaps the best known of the early species in the “indica complex” to have been split off from the type species, this plant is yet another North Australian endemic, growing in seasonally to permanently moist locations with sandy soils; it was originally discovered by and named after Siegfried Hartmeyer. Plants may reach upwards of 45 cm in height, though shorter is more average, and with filiform to linear-lanceolate leaves exceeding 15 cm in length that unfurl erect and remain so for a fair length of time before bending down to form a sort around the base of the stem. A short petiole is present at the base of each leaf. Coloration is distinct, uniformly presenting with reddened stems and yellowish olive green to bloody scarlet leaves coated in red tentacles. Inflorescences are scorpioid cymes bearing numerous blooms on moderate length pedicels, each flower up to 2 cm across (though typically smaller) and bearing broad triangular to obovate petals edged in minute serration and colored bright pink to slightly magenta. Unique features of this species include a somewhat citrus-reminiscent odor produced by healthy plants and a series of red trichomes at the base of each leaf on the petiole region and extending into the glandular portion, each bearing a globular “blackberry” shaped head of bright lemon yellow. Theories suggest these may act as light reflectors to help attract prey. After blooming as well, this plant has the somewhat unique behavior of developing axial stem offshoots and turning bushy before dying off.

Cultivation: grow in a 4:1 sand/peat soil, kept moist (but not waterlogged) and humid year round, in temps of 65-95°F (though as a North Australian species it prefers it warm). Sow seeds on soil surface, and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.

Lifespan and reproduction: annual. Reproduces through seeds, and can be propagated via stem offshoots and stem cuttings but resultant plants are often less healthy than new seed-grown individuals.