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Drosera arcturi photos from Lake Mountain Australia.


Sean Spence
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Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on any fieldtrips so I decided to check out a spot called Lake Mountain today. I travelled there with George (Binataboy) and a couple of other friends to locate a population of Drosera arcturi which is known from this area. I thought you guys would like to check out some photos of this alpine Drosera species in its natural habitat.

Lake Mountain is a cross country skiing area which is covered in snow from about June to October. When the snow melts, the Drosera arcturi begin to grow. The spot is around 150 kms from the city of Melbourne, about a 1.5 hour drive through densely forested Eucalypt mountains.

Anyway, this was the first time I'd been here looking for Drosera arcturi as the previous time I'd visited I wasn't aware the species was found there. After a walk of about 15 minutes from the car park at the top of the mountain we spotted a small lake from the cross country skiing track we were walking on. It was obvious that the small lake was surrounded by sphagnum moss.

Here is a shot of the lake with snow gums in the background and dense low heathland in the foreground-

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We were forced to push through incredibly dense and spikey vegetation to make our way down to the waters edge. This was made even more difficult by the invisible streams which cut through the shrubs under sphagnum. By the time we reached the lake my boots were sodden.

There were quite a few Drosera arcturi plants found around the main lake but slightly upstream from the lake was a series of smaller waterholes where the Drosera arcturi grew in astonishing numbers. I couldn't believe how dense some of the patches of the plants were. I had never seen anything like this in any of the photos I've seen. My jaw dropped in amazement!

Here is a shot of a smaller waterhole just upstream from the main lake. Check out the bottom right corner of the shot where you can see numerous Drosera arcturi plants-

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This photo shows the edge of the smaller waterhole. You can see many of the red plants of Drosera arcturi just back from the waters edge. This sight was impressive but better was to come-

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George (Binataboy) pictured on the right and the guys tread softly to avoid the thousands of Drosera arcturi plants everywhere beneath their feet-

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Now to the plants. Here is a shot of a beautiful clump of plants growing amongst pure sphagnum moss at the waters edge. These plants grow in full sun and had finished flowering. Seed capsules were forming but not quite mature. The plants were at their peak and you would not see them in better condition that what they were in-

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A closer shot of some plants with the old flower scapes clearly visible above the leaves. The plants of this population were approximately 4 inches (10 cms) tall-

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Now a close up of a single plant. It was very difficult to find an isolated plant as they all seemed to grow in huge colonies. You can see here the typical form of the species. Generally the plants will only have 4-5 healthy leaves at a time-

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Check out my next post for more photos. They get better!

Sean.

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Here is another shot of Drosera arcturi plants growing amongst pure sphagnum moss-

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A mass of plants growing at the waters edge and even into the water-

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I couldn't believe how many plants were present in this area. Here is part of another huge patch-

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I don't know how many plants would have made up this massive colony-

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A few more patches along the edge of the waterhole-

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A profile of the waters edge showing Drosera arcturi growing along the length of it-

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And finally a closer shot of a mass of leaves from many plants-

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I hope you enjoyed seeing a little snapshot of these great plants in habitat. I certainly did!

Sean.

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Thanks Jan and guys.

The location is completely safe and will never be built on or developed. The D. arcturi are safe in this place. I'll be able to go back there year after year and know that they will still be there. One of the great things about this place was that there was no weeds anywhere. It's great to be able to go to a place and know that this is exactly they way it would have looked for the last few hundreds/thousands of years.

Aidan, yes we did collect some seed. I'll be spreading some of this around when it is ready. You are on top of the list :)

Glad you guys enjoyed seeing this great plant in habitat.

sean.

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No worries Stephen,

I've set some aside for you. Got some seed from some nice Stylidiums while I was there too.

Sean.

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Hi Sean,

those are some really great photos...it's fantastic to see really large clumps of Drosera like that, in a natural habitat. The only ones I've been lucky to see in the wild have been at the top of a mountain in Storm's River Mouth, South Africa. I was in the middle of a huge row with the other half at the time, turned round to stomp off in a rage, and there they were, nestling next to some King Protea - rage forgotten! :)

Anyway, if there's any seed going spare, don't suppose I could be added to the list!

:D

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