Drosera schizandra

D. schizandra.jpg

Range: Mount Bartle Frere, Queensland, Australia

 

Until a similar new species was more recently described, this was the most sought after of the four Sisters of Queensland (including D. adelae and D. prolifera). This plant is very unusual, living in wet, shady areas in mountain rainforest at elevations of 400-700 meters, often along stream banks or amongst rocks where only miniscule amounts of light make it through the dense canopy. It can grow to 20 cm across, perhaps even more in some cases, and the not-quite-flat rosettes of leaves nearly lack petioles (when mature; small plants have a short petiole holding up the rounded lamina) and are otherwise wide and ovular to teardrop shaped, often with a slightly ruffled margin and truncated tip in the most mature plants. Color is entirely green to yellow-green, only the tentacles sporting any red coloration and then only just, when in stronger light. Inflorescences are rarely produced, up to 14 cm tall with a distinct covering of small hair and bearing up to 20 blooms. The flowers themselves are small, barely over 1.2 cm in diameter, with obovate, reddish-purple petals and oddly enough are named for the split red filaments of the anthers. Seeds are almost completely unheard of; instead, the plants are famous for producing plantlets via their roots, like their cousin Drosera adelae. This species can be distinguished from its most similar relative D. buubugujin by its larger flowers, thin anther filaments with yellow rather than white pollen, and the stockier, truncate leaf shape.

 

Cultivation: grow in a wide pot of a 1:1 sphagnum/perlite soil, kept fairly moist but preferably not wet to avoid rot and EXTREMELY humid, with temps of constantly 60-75°F throughout the year, preferably around 70°F or lower. Sow any seeds if produced on soil surface, and grow in shady conditions (suitable for growing in moss pads under benches holding other plants).

 

Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through root offshoots, almost never seeds, but can be grown through leaf and root cuttings.

 

Sources: https://www.carnivorousplants.org/grow/guides/sisters

Carnivorous Plants of Australia Magnum Opus Vol. 2, Allen Lowrie

Mathieson, M. T. and Thompson, S. L. (2020). Drosera buubugujin M.T.Mathieson (Droseraceae, Drosera section Prolifera C.T.White), a spectacular new species of sundew from the Cape York Peninsula bioregion. Austrobeileya 10(4): 549-557.

D. schizandra 1.jpg
D. schizandra plantlet.jpg

Comparison of adult plant with plantlet developing from the shallow roots. You can see the sessile nature and obovate shape of the adult leaves, while the plantlet possesses more rounded, distinctly petiolate leaves.