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Fernando Rivadavia

Mysterious Drosera sp. in Zambia

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Hello everyone,

So here is the mysterious rosetted sundew Andreas F. & I saw in Zambia this last September. Apparently this is the same species found by Makoto-san a few years ago. We saw these plants in sandy-peaty soil at two seepages in N Zambia. The rosettes grew mostly in the shade of grasses and varied in color from an orange to yellowish-green (the latter resembling a lot D.burmannii). But the leaf shape was more reminiscent of a D.natalensis. There were no flowers and we only saw a few remains of dead flower scapes, which seemed to be ascending at the base. Growing sympatrically we found D.flexicaulis, D.madagascariensis, G.subgrabra, U.pubescens, U.livida, and maybe others...

We're not sure what to call this plant. D.compacta? D.congolana? D.pilosa? Or just a new northern location for D.natalensis? We'll just have to wait for flowers...

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

P.S. In case you're intereted in seeds or plants from Zambia, I don't have any, OK? :) I only took pics.

A nice yellow-green rosette resembling D.burmannii:

D-12.jpg

A orange-green rosette in a more exposed spot:

D-11.jpg

A rosette growing next to a small form of D.madagascariensis:

D-13.jpg

An overview of plants growing under grasses:

D-14.jpg

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Truly fascinating Fernando

P.S. In case you're intereted in seeds or plants from Zambia, I don't have any, OK? I only took pics.

LOL

dont blame you for that one - ah well some seed would have been good :) - would have been nice to have pipped the brains trust -- LOL

thanks for posting the pics

regards Belinda

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Good stuff! 8)

The other plant in the last pic looks just like catnip.. but I doubt it.

Its too bad about the seeds. Would of loved to grow those.

Maybe next time huh? :P :winky: :P

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Wonderful photos! :P

Actually, I have close-up photos of this flat-leaved Drosera taken by Miyamoto in 2005. He says that the Drosera is D. compacta. As far as I see the flower photos, the pistils are short and erect.

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Interesting that it stays (yellowish-)green compared to the D. madagascariensis that grows beside it.

In my eyes it looks a bit like the D. aliciae which has sometimes been labelled Drosera esterhuyseniae. I noticed that Marcy's web site have some photos of it, but unfortunately it has been down for a while so it is difficult to say how similar they really are.

Regards,

Christer

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Hey Khelljuhg,

Do you have pics of the flowers that you could post here for us to see? Are the pink or white?

Christer, it certainly does look like D.esterhuyseniae, only smaller. We also saw this species around Hermanus in South Africa.

Best wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Hello all!

D. compacta was the first name we associated with this Drosera in the field, but it's incorrect for sure! D. compacta (despite its name!) is a short stem forming plant, like D. bequaertii! (and probably even conspecific with that one!). D. compacta, D. bequaertii and maybe even D. katangensis are very likely to be seasonal growing plants which survive the dry season as dormant roots, just like D. cistiflora from South Africa. They only form short stems, flower terminally and we did not find any in the lowland habitats where they are supposed to grow, as all of the lowland bog sites (i.e. below about 1000 m alt.) had been dried up completely.

Thus, what is this Drosera?

If its flower stem is not hairy, and its seeds are narrowly fusiform, then it matches well the description of D. congolana Taton (it was described to look like a D. communis or D. burkeana, having seeds like D. communis) except one fact (see below).

D. pilosa in contrast has ovoid seeds and a densely hairy scape.

I would EXCLUDE D. natalensis, D. dielsiana and D. burkeana from the "guess-what-this-could-be list", as all these species have long marginal tentacles with an elongated non-sticky head!! So-called "snap tentacles" (there are few other words in the English language that Germans can pronounce so well! ;) ;) ). This mysterious Drosera does NOT have these tentacles at all!! Moreover, D. natalensis and company do have well developed stipules. In this strange green Drosera, the stipules are barely visible, they are reduced to a few inconspicious hairs.

Taton mentiones a laciniate and membranous stipule 3 mm in length for his D. congolana. So this candidate is out, too!

Unfortunately Exell & Laundon's protologue of D. pilosa does not mention stipule characters. Matt claims that "the true" D. pilosa does have different leaves with a narrower petiole, but considering that D. pilosa has a very broad range across localized mountian tops in tropical Africa (from Sierra Leone over the Cameroons to Kenya and Tanzania), it might very well be variable in some characters.

So we have to wait to see flowers and seed of this Drosera to get proper identification.

Nevertheless, it's a nice plant! And one of my favourites already ;)

All the best,

Andreas

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Wow, I don't know which I'm more interested in .... this unidentified Drosera or the dwarf madagascariensis!!! Looks like D.communis! MORE MADAGASCARIENSIS PICS from the different populations, PLLLLEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSEEEEEEE!!!!!

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So I just took a look for my Exell and Laundon papers and they're nowhere to be found. Crap. Do you guys have this? (Flora of tropical East Africa) I need to read it again. I did come across Nouveaux Drosera Du Congo Belge though, which includes D.insolita :), bequaertii, katangensis and.... congolana. Anyone read French?

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WAIT A SECOND!!!! So this little red madagascariensis you showed in the photo above.... I recall reading that they felt congolana was like madagascariensis without much of a stem. Is it possible this little red madagascariensis like thing above is actually congolana?? I don't read French or Latin but I can try to scan this French paper w congolana info if you'd like...

Matt

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Andreas, I remember seeing a line drawing of pilosa before, but I don't remember specifics. I told you that this plant we're now talking about didn't look anything like the 2 things I've seen in cultivation labeled pilosa, but I don't claim to be an expert on IDing this plant since I know little about it. What I DO know is that it's rumored to be a very rare, endangered, high elevation plant. I got vague location data from Kenya and Tanzania and read it grows on the E coast of Africa too. So yes, I'm sure it can be variable. I do see similarities between this plant and esterh. but don't see so much similarity with burmannii.

Matt

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I will ask Miyamoto if I can upload the flower pics. I have to say that the pistils are a bit different from those of other African Droserae.

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Matt, sorry but these were "only" jung plantlets of a small, mainly red form of D. madagascariensis. They often grew together with a bigger form of D. madagascariensis, which seems to prefer wetter spots.

More photos of D. madagascariensis and D. affinis tonight ;).

Andreas

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Hi All,

Well, according to Exell & Laundon, the petioles of D. pilosa are '3-15 mm long, broadening out gradually in to the blade, glabrous on the upper surface and pilose beneath'. Also regarding the stipules '3mm long, connate at the base; apex lacerated', which would correspond with Andreas describing them as being 'a few inconspicuous hairs'.

Looking at the images, the petioles seem to match, although it's hard to be sure. Do you guys have any closer images?

Regards

Nigel H-C

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Hi Matt,

Yes, that does look rather different! That plant looks to have a distinctly pilose covering over the upper surface of the petioles, and they are canaliculate, which isn't mentioned.

Do you or anyone know the origin of this plant?

Nigel H-C

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Hi Matt,

Yes, from the limited experience I have of D. burkeana that one looks like mine. However, the peduncle is again pilose, whereas good old Exell & Laundon state that it is glandular!

I'll have to look at mine when they flower next to see what they do.

Nigel

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the 2nd plant (sherlock) supposedly came from the botanical garden of liberec and was labelled burkeana until the photographer rebadged it pilosa. anyone know someone at liberec to find out collection details and get this form into cultivation since the photographer never managed to do so?

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the first plant was at another botanical garden in europe, but apparently they refused to give it to anyone else and ended up losing it eventually. this is quite a shame because its such an interesting looking one. someone else reading this thread may want to say more about this one.

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Hi,

the link does not work for me.

I do see similarities between this plant and esterh. but don't see so much similarity with burmannii.

Matt

That was my first impression too. I do not really see similarities with Drosera burmanni. This plant does not really look like something i have seen before. Saddly we do not know what the flower and the seeds do look like. So i guess it will stay mysterious for some more time. Maybe you two just discovered a new species!

I would be interested in Taton's paper describing D. congolana, insolita, katangensis and bequertii (Bull.Jard.Bot.Etat Brux: 17, starting at page 307). If anyone has a digital version of these, i would be really interested in this. In exchange i could help out with the Ecell & Laudon Paper (New and Noteworthy Species of Drosera from Africa and Madagascar).

Christian

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