New Drosera species from the Amazon

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Hello to all,

Since 1998 I had been tracking down a new species of Drosera from the Amazon Basin. I knew it was out there somewhere and the herbarium specimens told me it looked like the magnificent D.meristocaulis, but was actually more closely related to D.roraimae or D.felix (3 styles bifurcated at the base).

Thanks to a very good contact (a guy who had actually been to the site) and Google Earth, I was able to pinpoint an approximate location on a map. I first attempted going there in September 2005, but was unable to reach the spot due to the low level of the rivers during that period (it was the worst drought in the history of the Amazon). Later I learned I got as close as only 2-3km from the site...

Two weeks ago I was finally able to return to this area and here's an overview of the habitat:


For over 15 years I had heard of natural clearings in the Amazon, "inselbergs" of savanna vegetation amidst the rainforest. I have even seen several of these while flying over the Amazon Basin, but could never be sure if they weren't simply areas that become submerged in the wet season. Now I know they truly exist! The site I visited was a large seepage with sparse grasses & scraggly trees (more like tall bushes) growing in humid to wet sandy-clay. The new Drosera grew by the millions in this area together with U.subulata:


Another view of the Drosera:


And two closeups showing the white sessile flowers:



Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia
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Hi guys!

Man, what quick replies, I barely just posted this!! :)

Yes I have a name already, but you'll have to wait and see... ;)

I found 2 sites around 1km distant from each other and on opposite sides of the river. My guess is that neither is flooded, because the river is just too small. But the heavy rains and the seepage itself do a good job of keeping the area wet!

Take Care, Fernando Rivadavia

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Since there are herbarium specimens already, is there also a name associated with this new species? Did the original collectors realise that what they had discovered was in fact a new species?

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Hello to all!

Wow, I'm really surprised with the number of replies in such a short period since I posted this!

Let's go to the questions:

No, the original collectors apparently had no idea what they'd found and the plant was unidentified in the herbarium labels.

The site is in Brazil, right smack in the center of the Amazon Basin, a few hundred km from the city of Manaus.

All the seeds I found are already on their way to a few fellow CPers who will hopefully quickly establish this species in cultivation. I have a feeling this will be an easy one to grow.

Curiosity 1: it has nicely fat & round seeds. And in case you're curious, I do not have any left, sorry!

Curiosity 2: although I was walking slowly in a flat area on a partially cloudy day, not exercizing at all, I was pouring with sweat onto my camera screen while taking pics. It was SOOOO HOT!!

Last of all, it always surprises me when people comment that I am lucky to be "so close" to all these wonderful plants. I wish! :):)

Just a reminder: I do not live in THAT "part of the world". Although in the same country, Manaus is ~2700km (1700 miles) from my hometown, Sao Paulo! :)

I don't know where "Torquay Devon" is, but I imagine it's England. So let's use London as a reference. If you flew 2700km from London, you could go farther away than Moscow, Casablanca, Istambul, and Greenland (which are all ~2500km from London).

So it's not like I hopped on a bus and spent the weekend in Manaus (especially because there are no roads going there from southern Brazil). Not to mention the effort to get from Manaus to this isolated little tributary where the Drosera grew -- the 2 attempts in 2005 & 2006 must've cost me ~US$1000... (and a lot of headaches along the way, I can assure you!). At least my company was already paying me the plane ticket to Manaus, since it was fortunately a work-related trip, hehehe! ;)

But the most difficult part was the detective work necessary (over 6 years!)) to uncover the approximate location where the plants had been collected and then further pouring over maps and GPS positions to plan the trips and execute them. I couldn't have done it without Google Earth and my GPS (which has a crude map), not to mention a very good contact who knows the area well!!

A happy 2007 to all!!

Fernando Rivadavia

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Yes I have a name already, but you'll have to wait and see... ;)

We have waited for about 6 hours. Long enough? :shock:

I expect you will be formally publishing the description somewhere. In the interim, do you propose a temporary name? If you have sent seeds, they must have been given some designation.

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What a fascinating new speices, Fernando ! Do keep us informed about its name when it is well-described !!! Congratulation for locating it finally !!!

Sincerely, Avery

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Last of all, it always surprises me when people comment that I am lucky to be "so close" to all these wonderful plants. I wish! :):)

I am sure you have put in a lot of hard work, effort and great perseverance and dedication, so well done on the find! I think my fellow English may mean that you are lucky to have the same native language, similar culture, similar climate and be in the same country as these plants. So, in this way, they mean 'close'!

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