Petiolaris complex drosera
Petiolaris complex drosera are a group of sun loving tropical drosera or sundews that resemble the plant Drosera petiolaris.There are over a dozen types, most of which grow in tropical Australia and form a rosette of leaves 5-30cm across.Sometimes they produce a stem of 15cm or more.They are in the subgenus Lasiocephala.There is a regular dry season in their natural habitat and the plants have evolved to deal with it.Many species have hairy leaves to conserve moisture and gather droplets of water from morning dews.Some species become dormant over the dry season with no active growth for many months.All species can happily withstand high temperatures of 40+ C however the average temperature in their habitat is approximately 30 C.Most species have relatively small lamina (carnivorous part of the leaf) compared to the size of the petioles (leaf stalk) and one member,the unusual Drosera caduca is not carnivorous as a mature plant.Very likely that is to reduce loss of water as a larger carnivorous leaf area means more glands and more moisture that can evaporate.This group of sundews grows in one of the hottest and sunniest habitats known for any sundew so water conservation is important.It is interesting that most species have a large number of leaves (10-30 or more) which may be an effort by the plants to catch more insects,compensating partly for the small lamina.The one exception to this is Drosera falconeri which grows in a wetter habitat than the others and has the largest lamina of the whole group.The flowers are also small and numerous with many sitting on the same stem.Many stems may be produced each season.As with most drosera individual flowers are short lived.
CultivationIf you are lucky enough to live in a tropical climate similar to Darwin,Australia cultivation is actually fairly simple and rewarding.Plants can be grown outside in trays of water.Elsewhere you need to take a lot more care to grow them well as they require very warm temperatures year round and a lot of sun.
POTS - Ranging from 5 inch to 12 inch or more depending on the size and species.
LIGHT - Full sun is preferable but some species will tolerate shade.
WATER - Stand the pot in 1cm of water during the growing season.Some species prefer drier conditions,if in doubt then only water from the top of the pot once a day.
COMPOST - most types grow well in 2 parts peat to 1 part washed sand.
HUMIDITY - moderate to high
PHOTOPERIOD - 12 hours.
TEMPERATURE - hot ,average temperature is 30 C ,see -Darwin,Australia
PROPAGATION - Many species produce offshoots and you can seperate these and pot them up seperately.
SPECIAL CARE - Some species such as Drosera lanata like to be kept just moist over the cooler 6 months of the year as this corresponds with the dry season in their native habitat.
- D. brevicornis
- D. falconeri