A few D.Adelae pics, both cultivated and wild

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In the pics are seperate 3 colonies, each consisting of an upward total of 200 plants, the images are of sections of the colonies not the entiety as they would not be visible, many of the colonies are several meters in diameter, there are a couple varieites within these images, all of the cultivated plants are seed grown from wild plants or cuttings of these seed grown plants.

All of these are from the southern end of the Adelae range, I can't seem to find any pics of my northern adelae, sorry.

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(I have used this on this forum before, but I have added to it since then and have just realised how to add pics)

Drosera Adelea, also known as the lance leafed sundew, is the most widespread and adaptable of three Drosera species found within the rainforests of north Queensland, the other two being Schizandra and Prolifera, it should be noted that the below information is based upon my own observations, as opposed to information gathered from books, online or from other growers.

Since moving from the Kimberly to North Queensland in 2006 I have found 27 Drosera Adelea populations, of these, 5 have been destroyed, 3 as a result of a cyclone, 1 as a result of clearance for the highway upgrades and 1 I believe was drought, however am not 100% certain, of these populations I have replenished the highway population, as work in that part was complete, I first attempted to acquire permission from council, who didn’t actually care, I then cleared away all of the steel and timber, waited for the rains to wash away the silt/mud, I then planted some native moss and waited for it to grow out, after 6-8months It was ready for Adelea to be re-established, it should be noted that prior to the road work I had collected seed from this site, so the plants I put here where not from another population , I believe this is important. A few months after I returned to check on them to find that my original 20plants had spread to about 50 plants, a good sign that the population is back on track, I also re-established one of the mountain populations that was washed away during floods, however this was on private property and I attained permission to do so.


Although the largest I have grown is only 32cm, I have measured wild plants as large as 38cm tip to tip, and have no doubt larger specimens exist. They typically have long, narrow leaves that end with a point, however plants growing in lower light levels can have oval leaves, all shaded plants have dark green leaves, occasionally even pale yellow and plants in sunnier conditions have red leaves, these plants form stems as they grow and in some cases can be as tall as 15cm (soil to new growth point).


The plant has a scattered distribution of just over 100kms; from about Ingham to Innisfail, within this range they commonly inhabit permanent to semi-permanent creeks, seeps and bogs that are either within or that border rainforest. The Three largest populations I have ever found are located on the side of a forestry rd near the town of Tully, on a creek bank on Hinchinbrook Island and the largest is a mainland population in a small creek near Ingham, all of these populations have upward of 500 plants and are several years old.

The soil these plants usually occur in composes of leaf debris and sand, although are also commonly found in clay, pure course sand, fibrous tree roots and amongst moss as both lithophytes and epiphytes (on trunks amongst moss up to 1m from the ground), common companion plants to Adelea include moss (particularly leucobryum mosses), ferns, terrestrial and epiphytic orchids, Utricularia (mainly caerula and uliginosa) and fungi, also occasionally D.spathulata. They are most commonly found in rainforest areas where more sunlight may reach to the forest floor such as clearings, creeks, rock faces, waterfalls, roads and forest edges, in some cases experiencing several hours of full sun, generally morning sun.


(In southern range (Ingham-Cardwell)


Temperature (day)

Temperature (night)


70% and up












Small flies, crickets, moth, slaters, spiders, scorpions, beetles, mosquitoes, ants and occasionally atyid shrimp are caught when walking to new water holes.


Plants found growing in shaded conditions are generally larger, with longer, broader leaves and taller stems, these shaded populations are also typically larger colonies than their sunnier counterparts, however there is a giant red variety that is found on several rack faces in the southern ranges, but I am yet to find any in the northern end.

Flowering occurs from mid September through to early December, and occasionally continues as far as late febuary (pending on the rains).

Common threats include several species of caterpillar (which also attack my greenhouse plants, predominantly nepenthes and drosera), trampling on by larger animals, fertiliser run off from nearby crops and forest clearance.

Cultivation (I have been growing these plants for about 6years, and below are my opinions of the plants cultivation)

Soil’s (in descending order of best)

  1. Pure live leucobryum moss (plants grow fast and large)
  2. Pure dead sphagnum moss (plants grow fast, but not as large as the prior)
  3. 1:1 sphagnum : Perlite (better than pure spag in hotter conditions)
  4. Live sphagnum moss (plants seem to grow abit slower than all the previous)
  5. 1:1 Sand : Peatmoss (generally results in slower growth then typical moss soils)
  6. Pure course Sand (best if using a dripper, will result in faster clumping)
  7. Pure coconut fibre (cannot use tray water method)

Pot size

10-20cm tall, surface area doesn’t matter, however a large surface area (25cm +) increases chances of off shooting.


I grow my forest plants in a greenhouse with 50% shade cloth and in full sun from 9am to 2pm summer, in winter a couple hours more sun.

They will also tolerate full morning sun for a few hours, 70% shade cloth (in full sun for several hours) and bright indirect light.

I also have a couple plants in Townsville in a clear polyhouse that recieves full winter sun from 2-4pm and summer sun from 1-2pm, this experiences much hotter temps than the greenhouse.

open Adelae (falls and rock faces) will tolerate much more sun and hotter conditions, a few smaller red localities also seem to tolerate lower humidity better

Water/ Humidity

Either a dripper method or tray, if using a tray keep the water level ¼ - 1/5 the pots height, or about 5-10cm from the surface level.

The target humidity level is 70-90%, however i have grown these plants in as little as 50% for several months, and although the plants soldered on, they slowed growth and threw out smaller leaves, i also mist my plants leaves on hot days (30+) and when humidity drops below 60% (in Townsville), this seems to benefit the plant, it also slows the growth of mould when using fish food pellets.


Small flies or crickets, or Betta fish/turtle food pellets (no larger than ¼ the width of the leaf), avoid fertilising as this only burns the leaves, also avoid woodies which also seem to burn the leaves, possibly to high of protein.


For all aim for temps of 15-25c


Has a high germination rate for the first 6months, after this seems to decrease, simply sprinkle onto a peat/sand mix or sphagnum and mist, then place in a terrarium or put a dome over the seed to create a high humidity and place in bright light, fresh seed germinate in about 2 weeks, older seed may take up to a month, a seed grown plant is capable of flowering once it is 2-4 years old, this is generally a 8-20cm diameter for me.

Root cutting

When re-potting an Adelea, or if a root leaves a pot, simply cut a piece 3-5cm long and place on pure sphagnum, place sphagnum on the ends to hold in place, then into high humidity (70% and up) and bright light, within 2-3 weeks expect to see a small plantlet emerging.

Leaf cutting

This is by far the easiest and fastest way to attain several large plants in a short time frame. Cut a leaf, preferably a large, new leaf (5cm +), and either place it on pure sphagnum and put in a humid environment and bright light, or put in a glass jar of pure water, then place in bright conditions.

Generally the water method has a higher success rate, and even works for older leaves.

Another less common method is leaf tip plantlets as seen in P.primuliflora will form in high humidity.

Edited by Adelae
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Hi, this is excellent thread!

I wonder, how do you get those broad leaved plants? Does it depend on a clone or is it more related to the conditions? I have some D. adelae "giant", which i hoped to look like the broad leaved plants from rainforest, but it just looks "ordinary"...


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Some of the red variety take a couple generations to revert to the green broad leaf, others do it after a year ot two in shaded conditions, so if you want the broad leaf I would suggest growing the adelae like schizandra, but gradually introduce it to less light, otherwise they can shock and make shorter leaves for awhile.

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  • 1 month later...

WOW! How did I miss THIS thread?! I've become a real Adalae fan over the past 4-5 years.

Here's one of my trays that I call my "Tray of Adalae":




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Fantastic thread!!! It's so rare to see pics of this beauty in the wild, and that broad-leaved specimen of yours is truly amazing, congrats!


Thanks tons,



P.S. Please post more, especially wild pics of D.adelae, D,schizandra, and D.prolifera - there's just not enough of these out there.

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