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Drosera tracyi

D. tracyi.jpg

Standard form of D. tracyi growing in a Sarracenia pot.

Range: USA Gulf Coast, Mississippi to Florida and Georgia


Long confused as being a variation or subspecies of its relative D. filiformis, this more southerly threadleaf sundew is a distinctive plant in its own right. Found in moist low-nutrient habitats including seeps, pine savannahs, and waterway shorelines, this species can grow to nearly 60 cm in height, with erect to floppy or scrambling habits in its slender, filiform leaves. Petioles are extremely short at only 1-5 cm, the lamina tapering to a thin tip and covered in short tentacles. Coloration is bright green with usually only a slight pinkish tint to the tentacles (except for the anthocyanin-free forms which are entirely green and white throughout). Inflorescences may reach 60 or more cm tall and are glabrous, bearing up to a dozen or more large blooms. Flowers may be nearly 4 cm in diameter, with typically bright pink rounded or obovate petals (white in anthocyanin-free forms). This species is almost entirely geographically separate from its closest relatives save for rare pockets in Florida where it may grow sympatrically with D. filiformis var. floridana. It can be distinguished from filiformis by its larger size in all parts and less self-supporting leaves, tentacles of similar length to lamina width rather than greater than lamina width, and lighter green/white coloration.


Cultivation: grow in a 1:1 peat/sand soil or with greater proportion of sand, kept moist to slightly wet and moderately humid with temperatures of °F throughout the growing season. When plants develop hibernacula, allow to dry to damp and place in a cool (not freezing) location for 3 months or until spring. Sow seeds on soil surface and provide a 4 week cold stratification, and grow in strong artificial light or under full sun.


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


Sources: Lowrie et al. (2017). Drosera of the World Vol. 2. Redfern Natural History Productions.

Anthocyanin-free form of Drosera tracyi. Nearly identical to the standard form, minus red pigmentation resulting in clear tentacles and white flowers.

This species can be a touchy grower for people without suitable outdoor places or coldframe greenhouses to keep it in. Plants may attempt to continue ever-growing when under relatively stable photoperiod and temperatures, until an eventual point where they simply collapse altogether and die off. Reduction in photoperiod in winter, along with reduction in temperature, will help trigger dormancy and keep plants growing healthy year after year. Well-drained soils are also fairly important, especially if lighting is at all subpar; plants in less intense light will have a stronger tendency toward floppy leaves and no color in the tentacle heads. 

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