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Hello to all,

Here are some pics of from Zambia, showing one of the Drosera that Andreas F. & I most wanted to see in that country: D.elongata. We were lucky enough to find a fantastic site covered with thousands of plants growing in boggy soil among grasses on a gently sloping hillside. Stems were VERY long, maybe over 1m in length in the largest plants! Although there were many flower scapes present, unfortunately none of the pink flowers were open.

Many other CPs were present in this area -- off the top of my head: D.affinis, D.flexicaulis, D.madagascariensis, D.compacta(?), G.subglabra, U.livida, U.reflexa, U.benjaminiana, & U.pubescens.

We even found a new natural hybrid between D.elongata and D.affinis!! Maybe this (and another hybrid we saw) helps explain why taxonomy of the stemmed Drosera in tropical Africa is so messed up! Considering the small number of D.elongata X D.affinis observed, we believe it is sterile.

Enjoy!

Fernando Rivadavia

A small overview of the habitat, with many D.elongata in the background:

D-3.jpg

A D.elongata with flower scape:

D-2.jpg

A D.elongata with a young flower scape:

D.jpg

A forked stem of D.elongata:

D-1.jpg

Three D.elonganta:

D-4.jpg

Two D.elongata (L), two D.affinis (R ) & two hybrids between both species (Center):

D-6.jpg

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia
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Hello Christian,

They varied a lot, I can't say exactly how big these were. Andreas has a pic of me holding up one of the longest plants we found. Maybe he'll find some time to post it here for us... ;)

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Hello!

I'm still organizing my photos of this year's trips through Africa, but I will post several of them here soon! I promise! ;)

Christer, D. elongata has an almost erect flower scape, whereas the inflorescence of D. madagascariensis is truely ascending. Stem and leaves of D. elongata are densely covered by short hairs (almost glabrous in D. madagascariensis), stipules are different in both species as well. The petioles of D. elongata are much shorter compared to D. madagascariensis, and all leaves are hold in a right angle in D. elongata (even the old, dry ones which are bend towards the stem in D. madagascariensis). This fact might have been the reason why D. elongata was described having active green leaves all along its very long stem. But this plant bears active leaves in the very apical part of the stem only (just like D. madagascariensis). Seeds of D. madagascariensis are narrowly fusiform, whereas those of D. elongata are more rectangular in outline.

The hybrids D. elongata X affinis and D. elongata X madagascariensis are not reproducing sexually, the small seed grains produced by these plants turned out to be sterile. Same for the quite common hybrid D. affinis X madagascariensis, which looks superficially similar to D. longiscapa, it produced sterile seed only as well. Backcrosses with parental species leed to a broad range of different looking stem forming Drosera in Zambia. This caused some mess in taxonomy: Welwitsch was right in distinguishing D. affinis from D. flexicaulis, both plants seem to be good and different species in my opinion. Later publications treat D. flexicaulis as a synonym of D. affinis incorrectly, as the autors found many "intermediate" forms (which in my eyes are the natural hybrids!!). Except D. burkeana, these tropical east African Drosera all have similar pink flowers which may all attrackt a similar range of pollinators, thus lost of hybrids.

More on Zambian CPs later on (I guess Fernando will be faster in posting news than me anyway! ;)).

All the best,

Andreas

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Hello Andreas,

Did we find both D. elongata X affinis **AND** D. elongata X madagascariensis?? I thought we'd only seen the former. I remember seeing two groups of hybrids at the D.elongata site. One was near the large D.elongata population and one was 1/2-way to the D.compacta(?) population. Do you mean the latter was actually D. elongata X madagascariensis?

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Fantastic photos! :wink:

Actually, Makoto Miyamoto reports that he also found some hybrids between D. elongata and D. madagascariensis.

Oh, and what Miyamoto has collected in Zambia may not be D. elongata seeds but those of D. flexicaulis.

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Andreas & I also think that what Makoto found was D.flexicaulis, judging by the pics on the web... Although the ones we saw did not form such long stems. The pics of Makoto's species all look like they are etiolated plants. The D.flexicaulis we saw at several location alternated long internodes with (strangely enough).... rosettes! So you would get a long stem, a rosette, another long stem, another rosette, and so on.

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

P.S. To help out, I just opened a new post, with pics of the D.flexicaulis we saw.

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Thanks, Fernando.

I have many 'D. elongata' photos that Miyamoto has taken in Zambia in 2005, in which most of the plants are hairless. Moreover, the plants available as 'D. elongata' here form rosettes when they are young.

So the hybrids he has found there can be D. flexicaulis X madagascariensis, I suppose.

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We saw D.madagascariensis growing at all the sites where we found D.flexicaulis, yet we did not see anything that looked like hybrids between them. We did see a lot of D.mad. X D.affinis however...

As for D.flexicaulis, we wondered if there was an ecological factor -- like dryness -- which made plants switch from rosette to stem and back to rosette again. Maybe this stimulus is lacking in culture, so it grows continuously as a stem in cultivation, after forming an initial rosette (if you consider that the plants in Japan are D.flexicaulis & not D.elongata).

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Hey matt,

Yes, but in the wet season... This was one of the discoveries of this trip. D.bequaertii is apparently an annual -- or else it goes dormant as roots in the dry season.

As for the D.compacta(?), we don't know what to call it. D.congolana? D.pilosa? I also don't think it's the latter. Remember Makoto's pics of the D.burmannii-like plant? Well this is the one we're talking about.

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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hey fernando,

in retrospect, i think that old photo we thought looked something like burmannii was the same or a similar plant that was stunted. clearly the thing you guys found is no missing link burmannii type of thing, though it is interesting. i think it was in laundons tropical flora of e africa that congolana was said to look like madagascariensis without a stem. i cant see how this plant would be described as that. how far north and west is natalensis or dielsiana recorded? i think it would help if you posted a pic of this mysterious plant. it looks nothing at all like the black and white photo of the compacta specimen ive seen.

matt

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To all of you who wants seeds of Zambian CPs:

I DID NOT COLLECT ANY, OK? :):) So no use writing to me, I have nothing for trade!

Matt, I'll post pics as soon as possible of this mysterious rosetted species. It is a bit yellowish, but is not close to D.burmannii. To me it looked more like a D.natalensis. We'll have to wait to see what flowers and scaped look like.

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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