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D.coccipetala & D.zeyheri

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Hello to all,

Nigel reminded me to post some pics I'd promised long ago, so here it goes, starting with D.coccipetala then the creamy-yellow form of D.zeyheri (also known as the "yellow" D.pauciflora). D.coccipetala is possibly just a different color form of D.zeyheri, which to some is just a form of D.pauciflora or D.cistiflora.

Best wishes, Fernando Rivadavia

Here's a view of the D.coccipetala habitat near Caledon (taken by Andreas F.), about an hour or two east from Cape Town, if I remember well:


D.cocipetala is a small rosetted plant (also by Andreas F.):


Like D.zeyheri, it occasionally forms 1-3 leaves on the flower scape (also by Andreas F.):


What is really surprising about this plant is its amazing flower color (also by Andreas F.):



And here's the habitat of the yellow D.zeyheri found near Darling (~1-2h N of C.Town). It grows among those bushes to the right of the road:


The rosettes are maybe a little larger and with longer leaves than those of D.coccipetala:


Most of the plants had finished flowering already:


But a few still had flowers:



Here's one of D.zeyheri (right) & D.trinervia 'white fl.' (left):


Here's a shot with D.cistiflora 'purple fl.' (center), D.trinervia 'white fl.' (right) & D.zeyheri (left):


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Hi Fernando,

Great-thanks for posting these. I had a plant labeled as D. coccipetala, but inadvertently tipped it in the bin over the summer whilst trying to be a clever sod. Suffice to say, the language that followed cannot be repeated here.

I am desperately after a replacement now (hint, hint).

Anyway, a pleasure as ever to see the finest carnivorous genus in habitat.

Nigel H-C

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Dear Fernando,

Thanks for posting this nice report! Take care, the plants on the second photo of mine that you claim to be "D. coccipetala" with stem leaves are in fact purple flowered D. zeyheri! We found both D. coccipetala (red flowers on short, thick scapes, only occasionally with a few stem leaves) and a pink flowered D. zeyheri (pink flowers, no a single one was open that day we visited that location, most of them already had been spent). This was confirmed by Paul Debbert, who visited that special location several times, and found both plants in full bloom (according to him that's the only place where the red D. coccipetala grows! It's micro-endemic to that sheep grazed renosterveld meadow!).

D. zeyheri has much more slender, long scapes, with usually 1-3 stem leaves (only occasionally with zero leaves). Flower size, petal and stigma shape of D. coccipetala and D. zeyheri is clearly distinct.

That's why I would agree with Paul Debbert in that D. coccipetala is indeed a distinct species from the rest of the D. cisitiflora-complex.

D. zeyheri, D. pauciflora and D. cisitflora had been mixed up in the past, but Salter's description of D. zeyheri clearly shows the differences between those 3 species:

Leaves of D. pauciflora are broadly oblong, with a rounded tip and several conspicuous long, enlarged non-sticky marginal tentacles (what Siggi calls "snap-tentacles"). D. pauciflora never bears stem leaves, the petals are the biggest known in Drosera, reaching up to 4 cm in length. Flowers are usually pale lilac, rarely bright lilac or white.

Leaves of D. cistiflora are narrower and lanceolate in outline, and at least the last rosette leaves and the stem leaves to not bear snap tentacles. D. cisitflora does always have stem leaves in flowering size plants, even in the most stunted ones. Petals are varying in size, but are usually a little smaller than in D. pauciflora. Flower colour ranges from white to creamy yellow, dirty mauve, pink. lilac to dark purple and red in plants of the northernmost populations. See Fernandos article in this forum.

D. zeyheri, however, looks somewhat intermediate between those 2 species: leaves are oblong to oblanceolate, with rounded tip and do bear snap tentalces in all stages. Number of stem leaves ranges from 0-7 (7 in the holotype), usually it's only a few stem leaves. Petals are narrower and smaller than in the 2 other species, and the tip is slightly crenate Flower colour of the type population of D. zeyheri at Simonstown is white. Or: WAS white. According to Eric Green, the type population of D. zeyheri got extinct, it's now a suburban slum of Capetown. We tried to find those plants near Simonstown in the Smitswinkel area several times (even at night with torches ;)), without any success. All other populations discovered of D. zeyheri so far had bright or pale pink flowers. The "yellow pauciflora/ zeyheri" does neither match the type D. zeyheri (nor D. pauciflora, which we all agreed in the field already ;)).

BTW, there's a pure white form of D. coccipetala (from near Tulbagh) as well! Fernando, remember that I have shown you and Rob a photograph of that plant in one of the field guides we bought at Stellenbosh botanical garden? Eric Green knew that plant as well, he thought it was D. trinervia (and it was labelled "D. trinervia" in that book ;)). But it's not, it's D. coccipetala! Now I have seen Debbert's herbarium specimen of that plant, I'm even more sure about this! Probably D. coccipetala is even more widespread?

It's a shame Debbert published most of his discoveries in such inaccessible journals (and in German, WHO the hell speaks German? ;)), as he described several species that should be recognised as valid species in my opinion! The D.cistiflora&alba-like D. variegata is such a plant as well! And the tulip-flowered D. atrostyla! (Two species we missed in 2006 ;)).



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Hello Andreas!

Many questions were left unansweered after our trip to Africa last year, which we were hoping plants in cultivation would help answer. It seems like we need a few more updates from you Andreas!! :)

So you confirm that there were really two different plants at Caledon? D.zeyherii with pink flowers & D.coccipetala with red flowers, right? Dd you get to see these flowers in your collection yet?

What about all those D.cistiflroa we saw, some without flowers? Are they growing well for you, are you able to compare them better now that they grow side-by-side?

You mentioned that D.variegata was not the same as the D.cistiflroa we saw in Caledon. What does it look like, why a different species? And what about D.atrostyla, why do you call it "tulip-flowered"?

Take Care,

Fernando Rivadavia

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  • 4 years later...


sorry for digging up that old post! As i have just been at (i think) exactly the above mentioned places i now have more questions than answers....

I always thought, that one of the key characteristics of Drosera zeyheri were only a few leafs on the stems (not meaning zero leafs). Actually, we only found one plant at that location in Caledon, that had leafs on the flower stem. All other plants with long scapes had no leafs at all. We also saw the short flowered Drosera coccipetala there. So we used the simple rule long scapes= D. zeyheri, short scapes = D. coccipetala.

Also, we did not find leafs on the stems on the yellow flowered Drosera zeyheri at the location close to Darling (should be the same location as mentioned above).

In Caledon, all of the Drosera zeyheri were already spent, while some of the D. coccipetala were just about to flower. I think if the weather would have been better or if we would have been there a day later we would have catched some flowers.

I now have the same question as Fernando had 2007 already. Where does Drosera variegata fit in? According to Paul Debberts description, the difference to Drosera cistiflora is in the leafs on the flower stem. Drosera variegata is described as having only 1-3 leafs in the lower part of the flower stem. This also sounds true for Drosera zeyheri (in case it has leafs on the stem at all...).

Andreas: you mention above, that Drosera coccipetala only occasionally has a few stem leaves. Are there any pictures showing this? I just can't imagine, that there is enough space on such a short stem ;)

Finally, i found the following pictures of Drosera zeyheri at the photofinder:





It is mentioned, that those are pictures from the type location. I am a bit surprised as these plants seem to have far more flowers than any of the plants we found. In most cases the plants we found only had one single flower on a long scape.


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Those first 3 pics above don't look like zeyheri to me...

Glad to know that after seeing plants in the wild, you're just as confused as everybody else who has been there too. :)


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Hi Fernando,

i am not only confused, i actually think i am totally lost at the moment. I have read the descriptions several times now and the more i do this, the more i get lost, especially with Drosera variegata/zeyheri. (Drosera liniflora is another plant, but i will leave this up for later).

From what i can read in the description i imagine Drosera variegata to have stem leafs only at the base of the stem (which seems not to be true for other "cistiflora"-forms). This should gibe them a similar appearance than the Drosera cistiflora "Eitz" in the Cedar Mountains. But, of course, that's more a guess than everything else.


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