Drosera montana

Range: South-Central Brazilian Highlands (Santa Catarina north to Goias and Bahia), eastern Bolivian Andes

 

A rather understudied plant, now known more for its often incorrectly labeled recent subspecies-turned-species D. tomentosa, the actual species is one of the most widespread sundew taxa in South America, found across the highland regions of southern and central Brazil as well as along the eastern slopes of the Bolivian Andes spine with a possibility of even stretching into Peru and Argentina (though as yet unverified). Plants may be found from 800-2500 meters in elevation, most commonly in thin sandy soils above sandstone slopes but it has also been recorded in nearly every low-nutrient open environment available, including disturbed areas and trailsides as well as iron-rich red soils and often in drier habitats than tolerated by most neighboring species (in which during dry seasons it may lie dormant in roots underground). This species grows to nearly 4 cm in diameter, forming a stemless rosette of flat, oblong to slightly spatulate leaves with a short, variably pilose petiole. Coloration can range from a deep olive green with scarlet tentacles to a more common bright to deep wine red throughout. Inflorescences may reach 30-40 cm in length, often with a moderately glandular indumentum, and may support up to 10 flowers. The blooms may reach 1.5 cm across, with obovate to semi-oblong light to dark pink petals. This taxon can be distinguished from its closest relatives (including the former subspecies now elevated to their own species) by its seasonal habits (dormant dry, growing in wet season) and differing flowering periods, flat and sometimes more sparsely leaved rosettes, evenly sized glands along the scape, and the lengthy ovate-oblong sepals surrounding the petals.

 

Cultivation: grow in a 2:1 sand/peat soil or similarly peaty but well aerated mix, kept very moist and humid during the growing season, with day temps of 65-80°F, night temps of 50-60°F, year round (plants may be allowed to dry if they go dormant, and seasonal changes may encourage blooming). Sow seeds on soil surface, and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.

 

Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed and possibly division, and can be grown through leaf and root cuttings.

 

Sources: Rivadavia et al. (2014). Elucidating the controversial Drosera montana complex (Droseraceae): a taxonomic revision. Phytotaxa 172(3): 141-175.

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