Drosera spatulata var. gympiensis
Range: Eastern Australia, between Frazer and Gympie
A beautiful variety of spoonleaf sundew, this plant is found in coastal wetlands in clay soils and heathland, often intermixed with the standard variety of the species but without any wild intergrades (despite being able to hybridize readily in cultivation; this may signal a recent speciation event). Plants grow as completely flat rosettes averaging around 2.5 cm in diameter, sometimes slightly larger, with slightly tapered strap-shaped leaves with very little if any discernible petiole. Coloration ranges from plain green to richly red-flushed around the edges and scarlet tentacles, and only under the strongest light the entire leaf flushing red throughout. Inflorescences are this form’s most defining feature, rarely exceeding more than 4 cm tall (occasionally to 8) and densely pilose, covered in long white hairs. 6 to rarely 13 flowers are tightly packed together one-sided on the distal end, each relatively large compared to the rosette at just over 1 cm across, with equally hairy sepals as the peduncle and pedicels and with broadly obovate to almost triangular, often metallic hot pink petals (rarely paler in color). No other form of D. spatulata possesses such hairy scapes, so in bloom this variety is unlikely to be confused with any related species.
Cultivation: grow in a 1:1 peat/perlite soil, kept very moist and humid, with temps of 70-85°F year round. Sow seeds on soil surface, and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.
Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seeds, and can be grown through leaf cuttings and rare division.
This form I have found to be somewhat touchier to grow personally; sandier soils may benefit it and it likes a lot of light to do really well. Seeds may tend to germinate slowly, but seedlings tend to be fairly easy if slow to raise up once they have sprouted.
The broad-petaled, richly pink-colored flowers typical of this form. The exceedingly hairy sepals of the next flower can just be seen to the top of the bloom.