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Drosera spiralis

D. spiralis.jpg

Range: Serra do Espinhaco range, Minas Gerais, Brazil


This thread-leaved Latin American species was once synonymized with D. graminifolia due to the unique shape of the leaves in these two taxa. It is found from 700-1500 meters in elevation in the Brazilian highlands from the Diamantina Plateau and northern Espinhaco Mountains, and was once known as the “Itacambria Giant” form of its relative; plants are found along seasonal and perennial seeps, bogs, and rivers, in sandy quartz or sandstone and peat soils that can dry out in winter. Plants may grow as acaulescent rosettes or develop stems to 10 cm tall, topped by rosettes of erect filiform leaves up to 35 cm in height. Leaves unfurl in an irregular circinate pattern, and possess short, pilose petioles and filiform lamina that end with a singular tentacle. Color is bright green, rarely tinged with orange or red, with scarlet tentacles.  Scapes may be up to 43 cm in height, are covered in short hairs and small glands, and may bifurcate and bear up to nearly 80 flowers. Blooms themselves are just over 2 cm across, with obovate to cuneate petals shaded in light to dark lilac-pink (rare white forms are known) and sepals with tentacles protruding off them. This species may be readily distinguished from its close relatives by the odd irregular circinate pattern of unfurling leaves, tentaculate sepals, lack of yellow glandular structures on the leaves, dense smaller glands and eglandular hairs, and shorter petioles; the northern populations may even be qualified as a subspecies as they present more robust growth and longer petioles.


Cultivation: grow in a 2:1 perlite  (or sand)/peat soil, kept very moist but well aerated and humid, with temps of 60-85°F, year round, cooler temps at night. Sow seeds on soil surface, and grow in strong artificial light to full sun.


Lifespan and Reproduction: perennial.  Reproduces through seeds and division, and may be grown through leaf or root cuttings.  


Sources: Gonella, P.M., Rivadavia, F., and Sano, P.T. (2012). Re-establishment of Drosera spiralis (Droseraceae), and a new circumscription of D. graminifolia. Phytotaxa 75: 43-57.

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