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Dan

Canberra tuberous U.dichotoma

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Howdy all,

Last weekend Ross Rowe showed Craig, Duncan and I a small patch of tuberous Utricularia dichotoma growing in the Canberra Nature Reserve north of Kambah.

The habitat was a intermitantly moist (mainly winter and spring) soak that was almost dry at the time of the visit, but not as dry as the surrounding hillside.

U_dicht_tuber_habitat.JPG

From left: Craig, me and Dunc in the soak where the dichotoma live.

Despite having the wettest spring for 4 years there were few U.dichotoma to be seen, and those seen had rather small flowers. The plants are just starting to produce their tubers at the moment.

U_dicht_tuber_flower.JPG

U.dichotoma with tuber in centre (small leaf seen at the top of the tuber and spherical trap near middle).

The flowers were quite interesting with the central ridge on the raised palette being far more prominent than the two at the side (the two side ones being typically prominent in my experience).

U_dicht_flower.JPG

Close-up of flower.

It's not surprising that these things have adapted to be tuberous. In the summer the ground in the soak will be bone dry and concrete hard. This soak has probably been mainly dry for the last 4 years because of the drought we've just emerged from.

Cheers,

Dan.

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Excellent. They appear to be similar to those I have found at Jamieson but not quite as flamboyant- the ridges seem to be very prominent in the tuberous forms. I guess if there had have been more flowers around there may have been a bit more variation. Were the flowers all the typical purple colour?

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Howdy Sean,

We only saw a half dozen flowers, and all seemed to be a similar colour to the one's posted. The flower shown next to the tuber is perhaps more representative of the true colour.

Hopefully next year will be a better season for them and there'll be more to see...

Cheers,

Dan.

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Hi George,

Here's a close up of a trap and some leaves. Not very good, but we should have someone available that can show you to the spot for a closer leaf examination on the weekend!

Cheers,

Dan.

U_dicht_tuber_leaves.JPG

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Hi Fernando,

We hadn't properly exposed the tuber when I took the last shot (it's the same clod of dirt as the first shot, but we subsequently did a bit of cleaning up to expose the still-forming tuber - which is the white succulent-looking root-like thing).

Cheers,

Dan.

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Hi Fernando,

The tubers begin as swollen stolons and then eventually form into sausage-like storage organs. In the photo the stolons appear to be thickening up but have a way to go yet. The stolons of other eastern Australian forms of U. dichotoma have much thinner, finer stolons.

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Very interesting! Thanks for posting the pic :D

The do look very simmilar to what grows at Jamieson. The ridges look very simmilar. What altitude are they growing at?

Cheers

George

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Hi George,

Altitude is around 700m

Cheers,

Dan.

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