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mono

Wild Drosera regia

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Hi all,

I am trying to start up a new collection here in SA, but I cannot seem to find info on wild D. regia. Does anyone know its natural time for flowering, propagation and seeding time?

I would like to get some, have all the correct legal permits etc, but would like to go about it at the correct time to get the plants.

All and any help will be appreciated, Thanks

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Hi,

The plant grows in nature in the Bainskloof at about 1000m altitude in humid fynbos.

It flowers in the RSA in january when the plant is at least 3 years old.

Sow seeds fresh and they will germinate after about 2 months.

Wild plants are very difficult to get legally and that is of course THE ONLY WAY we want them.

Your best change is to grow them from seeds.

Try silverhill seeds, they have them (and others RSA-natives) regularly.

www.silverhillseeds.co.za

Marcel

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Hi Mono!

Where and how did you get legal permits to collect plants from the endangered D. regia from a natural site? This plant is protected by Western Cape Nature Conservation Laws Amendment Act since 1992, and the protection was reconfirmed in 2000. No plants or plant parts (such as seeds) must be collected from the wild!!

2nd, it's not allowed to collect any plant from a nature reserve like the Baineskloof Nature Reserve, where D. regia grows.

Please send me your snail mail adress, I will readily send you enough fresh seed of D. regia from cultivated plants for free, so you can start this plant from seed in your cultivation, in case you promise not to collect neither plants nor seeds from the wild.

Please do NOT collect this Drosera in the wild, there's no need to do so! There are hundered times more D. regia in cultivation than there are in the wild (from both "altitude forms"), it's easy to grow from seed, thus the few remaining populations in the wild don't have to be tuched for this purposes!

There's no need to collect seed "with location data" from D. regia either, as all plants in cultivation originate from the same location, which is the 2 known sites in Baineskloof Nature Reserve.

Do you know how to grow D. regia, i.e. what are the special needs for this species?

Andreas

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Hi,

Please don't panic, I work for a botanical garden and therefore have the relavant legal permits for collection. Its all part of conserving them. I work closely with rare and endangered fynbos. Unfortunately I need wild collections and not home grown. I would prefer not to take plants as yes I am aware that they are rare. I could find little on flowering time and seed production. If the plant cannot be propagated via leaf cuttings as I had hoped, I thought I would try seed or root cuttings. How successful are root cuttings?

Just needed clearer info and you guys definately seem to know whats potting! Which is great thanks. I really appreciate your stern warnings to just anyone going off to collect wild things!!!!

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Guest Ian306

Andreas, if you really are giving out some regia seeds for free I would be very grateful if you could send some my way please.

Thanks,

Ian.

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Thanks BobZ,

Say is there a specifically good time to take root cuttings for best results or are they fairly successful year round? I see that pic was taken in Sept, so the cuttings would have been taken around Jul-Aug?

I am rather spoilt here as most of these plants thrive in a regular outdoor environment. They usually grow rampant and I just divide clumps. These are the more common species (especially ones that don't go dormant) and I can just harvest full plants from populations, but don't want to do so for the D. regia. If I disturb them I want to take full advantage of it so I need not go back and disrupt them again.

Thanks too for the pm's you are all very helpful!!!

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Hi Mono,

Sorry that I had to dig up this old D. regia thread (or D. regia threat, like I'd call it!) again, as this issue still keeps me sleepless.

Please, I hope that you DID NOT collect any wild D. regia root cutting, nor seed from the last remaining wild population, as you intended!

Collecting wild plants of the last remaining poor population of D. regia for "conservation", that would be like killing half of a whale population for "scientific purposes". I.e. this would even bring that rare plant closer to extinction in the wild! But this has nothing to do with conservation, even if done legally by an insitution like a local Botanical Garden.

I have visited the two sites in Baineskloof in late 2006, and the higher altitude location was completely overgrown by Restionaceae, all plants of D. regia are extinct at this spot now. The lower altitude location is in a very poor condition, and only about 50 mature plants are still growing there now. Apart from wild collections and poaching done until the late 1990ies from that population, the main reason for decline of wild D. regia is the fact that this area hasn't been burnt for years (ironically because of prevention from fires in Nature Reserves!), and the plants are suffering from competition with other fynbush plants, mainly large Restionaceae. Zero regrowth, neither seedlings can start in this thick carpet of sourrounding vegetation. D. regia will need bare open burnt soil to start from seed in the wild.

I consider D. regia to be the most critically endangered Drosera species in the world, with only about 50 individuals remaining in the single known wild population. Removing ANY plantlet from the single known population is very inconsiderate. And as both a nature conservatist, botanist and plant enthusiast, I would strongly recommend not to do so! But take all efforts to protect and maintain the natural habitat itself instead! Protection of endangered organisms means not to grow and propagate those organisms in artificial conditions, but to protect and maintain the habitat they grow in!! If the site is okay, D. regia will propagate naturally there without any human help!

I don't want to sound arrogant, neither do I want to slate your growing skills, but I really doubt that those root cuttings taken from wild plants of D. regia will have a great survival rate in your Botanical Garden!! And just consider that taking cuttings from wild plants will mean to digg them up from the soil, disturbt their established root network, and thus enhance the risk of loosing more wild plants by draught or diseases!

Drosera regia is by no means an easy plant in cultivation, and even the most experienced Drosera growers find this plant tricky in cultivation! I usually loose 30-50% of my cultivated plants in hot summers in the greenhouse! In cultivation, D. regia is VERY sensitive to rot and fungal root diseases!

Considering some of your posts regarding cultivation techniques of sundews (some much easier to grow than D. regia), I do not think that wild collected D. regia will have a high survival rate in your Botanical Garden. Seriously!

If you still want to try D. regia under your growing conditions, I can offer to send you some well established pot-grown plants to try with. To see if you can support growth of this rare and difficult species over some seasons. How about this?

Thus, if you and your Botanical Garden really want to protect D. regia in the wild, then burn the site! Honestly, burn that part of Baineskloof! But please do not collect any plant or plant parts of D. regia from the wild for "conservation purposes"!

Thank you very much,

Andreas

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I have to agree with Andreas, I have no experience with D. regia in wild, but this is so similar to situation of many other plant species (including many CP's). If the plants are overgrowing by another, less rare species, then burn it down. Or maybe mowing of the vegetation could help? There would be no risk of fire in the whole area then.

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It's interesting that many CPs live in Fire Ecology sites, which burn regularly, about every 3 to 5 years. The New Jersey Pine Barrens also has problems when fires have been prevented for too long. After 10 to 20 years, when it does finally strike, it becomes a killing holocaust, wiping out the plants that would normally survive a brief brush fire. Many sites that I have known over the years have changed due to succession caused by the lack of fire. Many CP stands that once contained thousands of CP, ferns and orchids are now gone. These frequent brush fires are relatively cool, and do not harm the established plant life. It kills many of the grubs and parasites that harms these plants, and burns up the think layer of debris (releasing those nutrients into the sandy soils), which prevent seed germination, and cause the seedlings that do germinate to grow very weak. Some of the best stands of Sarracenia and Drosera that I have ever seen were in areas that had a fire the previous year. - Rich

Edited by rsivertsen

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Hi Andreas

Sorry to be reawakening an old thread, it was some time ago but you mentioned you may have D. regia seed. I volunteer at a small botanic garden in Wales and am trying to build up the carnivorous plant collection, so any seed at all would be absolutely fantastic.

Cheers,

Mark

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D. regia will need bare open burnt soil to start from seed in the wild.

I consider D. regia to be the most critically endangered Drosera species in the world, with only about 50 individuals remaining in the single known wild population. Removing ANY plantlet from the single known population is very inconsiderate. And as both a nature conservatist, botanist and plant enthusiast, I would strongly recommend not to do so! But take all efforts to protect and maintain the natural habitat itself instead! Protection of endangered organisms means not to grow and propagate those organisms in artificial conditions, but to protect and maintain the habitat they grow in!! If the site is okay, D. regia will propagate naturally there without any human help!

Dear Andreas,

I also consider it extremely inconsiderate to make it illegal to collect a plant, but still let the "protected" land go to crap, or let unnatural succession continue to take place. If it is really protected, then areas should be being burned on a regular basis; if not it actually is not protected (just illegal to collect--which is not protection!) and is doomed to extinction by succession.

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Collecting seeds, growing out the poulation, and re-introducing the plants has been a viable means of preventing extinction in the wild-here's an example: http://baynature.org/articles/web-only-art...-one-year-later

Honestly, those who would be qualified to take on such a project for D. regia should have proof that they have been able to grow rare CP's from seed to maturity in cultivation. Burning the site sounds great and is necessary, but if all 50 plants are destroyed in the time being, we've completely lost all of those original wild genetics. Having a professional horticulturalist/botanist, who also has a keen understanding of population genetics, collect a few seeds from each plant (not all of the seeds), grow them out, and place them back in the wild will give these plants a greater chance of survival.

I'm not promoting having any individual who can get a permit to take on this task, but I would be comfortable if say someone like Andreas Wistuba, who has a proven track record of successfully growing very difficult to grow CP's on a consistent basis, proposed to take on such a project. A professional horticultalist/botanist will be conscious of not introducing pests and pathogens to the wild-and will use sterile culture and a pasteurized media to grow out the seeds.

It makes me nervous when someone asks about taking root cuttings or leaf cuttings from the last remaining D. regia plants-this can completely dessimate the remaining populations.

Edited by meizwang

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The need to burn the area or otherwise, and general management questions on the reserve, are no excuse to collect seeds or parts of plants and make any kind of dent in such a threatened population, IMO, with some caveats. Seed collection of such a threatened plant, irrespective of other aspects of its management and recovery, should be (and rightly is) illegal to carry out without an officially sanctioned program for its propagation, distribution and re-introduction.

The number of plans by well-meaning people to collect endangered plants to ensure their survival has a spectacularly poor record of their successful eventual reintroduction in the wild. Those that have been successful are all too easily counted, and generally have in common a thorough management and species recovery plan associated, all of which is officially sanctioned if not officially supported by government grant money.

Without such a plan and legal status, and the backing of a major botanical garden, I would be pretty skeptical that it would do more good than harm.

After all there are plenty of clones of vigorous and easy to grow D. regia already in circulation (easy for D. regia).

Miguel.

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The need to burn the area or otherwise, and general management questions on the reserve, are no excuse to collect seeds or parts of plants and make any kind of dent in such a threatened population, IMO, with some caveats. Seed collection of such a threatened plant, irrespective of other aspects of its management and recovery, should be (and rightly is) illegal to carry out without an officially sanctioned program for its propagation, distribution and re-introduction.

Right, there is no need to collect from the wild for horticulture at all. However, the area has to be managed properly or there really isn't any reason to gripe about seed collecting when the plants are going to go extinct without such direct action.

This report of so few plants does indicate action needs to be taken now, not at some random point in the future... Or the only plants left on Earth will be those in cultivation--whether or not they are collected! I've seen these happen with Sarracenia and direct human invention being key to the plants' survival.

http://www.pitcherplant.org

I'll support any real efforts to conserve this and threatened companion species that also depend on fire cycles.

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Right, there is no need to collect from the wild for horticulture at all. However, the area has to be managed properly or there really isn't any reason to gripe about seed collecting when the plants are going to go extinct without such direct action.

This report of so few plants does indicate action needs to be taken now, not at some random point in the future... Or the only plants left on Earth will be those in cultivation--whether or not they are collected! I've seen these happen with Sarracenia and direct human invention being key to the plants' survival.

http://www.pitcherplant.org

I'll support any real efforts to conserve this and threatened companion species that also depend on fire cycles.

Well put, Dave!

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I agree that the careful management of the wild population needs to be the first priority, especially when there are so many specimins already in cultivation.

But some Drosera can produce far more seed than usual through artificial pollination, and the surplus seed would allow a good amount of genetic diversity of wild plants to be preserved with little or no stress on the wild population. And importantly, if the task is carried out by a botanical garden then the material would be much better documented as to exactly what it is and where it came from than most of the material in cultivation (which at worst can even be contaminated by hybridisation with other cultivated species).

Sad to say, when a species is as endangered as D. regia, we need to be thinking beyond just the preservation of the wild population, which might well prove an impossible task.

Cheers,

Tim

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Hello Everyone,

Does anyone know of an organization in place near the area, that monitors these plant's well -being 'in situ'?

Aren't they in a protected area or National Park of sorts? It would be great to figure out some sort of game plan to help D. regia.

Thanks!

Brian Barnes,

ICPS Director of Conservation.

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Like Andreas already pointed out,

There's no need to collect seed "with location data" from D. regia either, as all plants in cultivation originate from the same location, which is the 2 known sites in Baineskloof Nature Reserve.

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If there are only ~50 or so plants left in the wild, then there are already far more plants than this in cultivation. Some of them may even have originated from wild plants no longer there, and the plants in cultivation may even have more genetic diversity than the wild population. There certainly are more clones in cultivation than in the wild, and no evidence of inbreeding depression.

In the absence of a real and comprehensive recovery plan I see no justification for collection more seed or tissue from the wild.

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Hi,

there is really no need to collect more seeds/roots or whatever from that site. The plants there will go distinct in the next few years, if nothing will be done. What would really be of a great help for the plants is to burn the area, which seems to be (at least for me) not too easy due to the remotness of that spot. As far as i know, that area is not a Nature Reserve or protected in some other way. I don't think, there is an organisation, that regularly watches the plants. I am even quite sure, that most of the people there do not even know about them. In fact, they do have other problems there than taking care of a strange carnivorous plant....

regards,

Christian

Edited by Christian

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