Image credit: special thanks to Alexander Dietrick for usage of all photos on this page to represent this species.
Range: Haut-Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
This species was originally recorded solely from a single collection in 1912 in the eastern portion of the Congo, until it was rediscovered in several isolated populations on the high Congo plateaus by Alexander Dietrick and colleagues in 2020. It is recorded as being a helophyte, growing in a seasonal savannah-like wetland where they lie dormant in the dry winter as fleshy roots. Plants may grow to at least 15 cm in height, if not more, with potentially branching stems supporting leaves up to 3cm in length. Leaves bear narrow pubescent flattened petioles comprising most of their length that are roughly parallel but may taper just below the lamina attachment, and tapered ovular to elongate teardrop-shaped lamina around 1 cm long that expand out from the petiole toward the acutely rounded tip. Color is typically a brilliant green with white hairs to yellowish, with crimson tentacles and an occasional red flush on the lamina. Inflorescences may reach at least 20 cm in height, densely indumentous with red glands and white hairs, with at least 5-15 blooms. Flowers reach more than 1 cm across, with broad obovate and sometimes overlapping pink petals. Primary differences from related species appears to be the abrupt petiole-lamina transition and scorpioid curve of the lamina, and highly spaced leaf arrangement on the more elongate stems as well as highly pubescent nature.
Cultivation: grow in in a 1:1 peat/sand or perlite mix, kept moist to waterlogged and moderately humid, with temperatures of 75-90°F year round. Sow seeds on soil surface, and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.
Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed and branching offshoots; may potentially be propagated via cuttings like its relatives.
Alexander Dietrick (pers. comm.)
Growth habit during wet season; scorpioid leaf lamina curling from the semi-erect petioles.
Inflorescence detail demonstrating the highly glandular/pubescent nature of the species.
Broad obovate-petaled flowers of D. katangensis.