Pygmy Drosera

NATURAL HABITAT

Most of the pygmy Drosera species are found in southwestern Australia. The majority of pygmy Drosera grow in areas that have hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters with 15-22 in. (38-56 cm) of rain. Typical winter temperatures range from about 40-70°F (4-21 °C) with frost occurring on rare occasions. Summer temperatures vary from about 70-100°F (21-38°C).

DESCRIPTION OF PLANT

This group of Drosera includes the smallest sundews found anywhere in the world, 0.4 in. (1 cm) in diameter with leaves one half this dimension and is characterized by gemmae formation during the fall and/or winter. Gemmae are small, greenish structures formed in the crown area of the rosette of leaves. Gemma is species specific. For example, D. paleacea has spherically-shaped gemmae, while D. pulchella has flat, discshaped gemmae. (Photo 4-1) Gemmae size varies from 0.04 to 0.2 in. (1-5 mm). (Fig. 4-4) The gemmae, also called brood bodies, develop into plants under appropriate environmental conditions.

The plants tend to form rosettes. The leaves, which have concave leaf blades, vary in shape from almost round to oval to linear. A characteristic feature in this group of Drosera is the growth of translucent stipules from the base of the petioles. Stipules are present in other Drosera plants but in this group they are showy and quite large in comparison to the leaf blades. Some species can be identified by the cone-shaped structure that the stipules form when the plant is dormant. Many species tend to flower profusely. Flower color varies considerably, including all colors except green and blue. The smallest flowers are the order of 0.08 in. (2 mm) long.

Pygmy Drosera grow during the Australian winter which is the wet season and usually go dormant during the hot, dry summer. Plants survive the dry season by forming a bud in the crown area of the plant which is held in place by roots that extend through the parched soil surface into damp subsoil beneath.

SPECIES OF THE PYGMY TYPE OF THE GENUS DROSERA

The following list includes all known species of pygmy Drosera. The species not yet officially named are listed by the name of the area in Australia where they were discovered.

Pygmy Sundews

D. androsacea

"Bannister Pale Pink"—W

T3rookton Orange Flower"

Pygmy Sundews

D. dichrosepala D. drummondii D. glanduligera

"Lake Badgebup White Flower"—W D. leucoblasta "Millbrook Road" D. miniata

"Mt. Manypeak Type" "Muchea Pink"—W D. nitidula—W

"North Beermullah Small Pink"—W

D. occidentalis

D. omissa

D. paleacea

D. platystigma

D. pycnoblasta

"Regans Ford Yellow Flower"

D. scorpioides

D. sewelliae

"Toodyay Pink"

"Walyinga Pink"

W= Soil is wet the year around.

DESCRIPTION OF PLANTS COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE

"Bannister Pale Pink" A rosette with 6-10 pink flowers per scape. Petiole about 0.6 in. (1.5 cm) long with an oval blade whose diameter is about 0.08 in. (2 mm).

D. glanduligera A rosette with 1 or 2 scapes and up to 20 red flowers on each. Leaves yellowish green. Petiole tends to be linear and about 0.3 in. (8 mm) long with an oval blade with a diameter of about 0.2 in. (5 mm).

"Lake Badgebup White Flower" A rosette with 1-3 scapes with 1 flower on each. Petiole tends to be linear about 0.4 in. (1 cm) long with a roundish blade whose diameter is about 0.08 in. (2 mm).

D. miniata A basal rosette with 2-5 scapes and 2-8 red flowers on each. Petiole tends to be linear and about 0.3 in. (8 mm) long with a roundish blade whose diameter is about 0.08 in. (2 mm). Stipules whitish or brownish yellow.

D. paleacea A tight rosette with 1-3 scapes and up to 30 white flowers tightly placed on one side of the scape. Petiole tends to be linear and about 0.8 in. (2 cm) long with a roundish blade whose diameter is about 0.12 in. (3 mm). (Photo 4-2)

D. pulchella A rosette with 1-3 scapes with about 4 flowers per scape. Flowers may be pink, red or orange. Petiole tends to be linear, tapering near the blade and about 0.8 in. (2 cm) long with a round blade whose diameter is about 0.12 in. (3 mm). (Photo 4-3) D. pygmaea A rosette with 1-8 scapes with a single white flower on each. Petiole tends to be linear and about 0.2 in. (5 mm) long with a peltate blade whose diameter is about 0.08 in. (2 mm).

CULTURAL INFORMATION Planting Media

Sphagnum peat moss, milled sphagnum moss, 1 part sphagnum peat moss to 1 part sand (preferably silica sand) or perlite, 1 part sphagnum peat moss to 1 part sand and 1 part perlite.

Sphagnum Peat Moss
Fig. 4-4 Pygmae Drosera are small rosette type plants. Gemmae form in the crown area of the leaves. Some gemmae are roundish. Stipules are prominent and quite large in comparison to the leaf blades. Insert illustrates one gemma.

Plants grow best in deep pots. The pots should be a minimum of 4 in. (10 cm) deep, but preferably deeper, 6-8 in. (15-20 cm) or more.

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