Drosera hookeri and Drosera gunniana form a complex of plants with somewhat controversial taxonomy. In mid October, I investigated the differences between D. hookeri and D. gunniana in the Melbourne region. Here’s a set of comparison pics and general descriptions of the plants.
The local form of Drosera hookeri is short, ranging from approximately 5 – 15 cm in height. Early in the season, the plants grows a substantial basal rosette of wide kidney-shaped leaves. One or more main stems emerge directly from the basal rosette. These stems often split into multiple arms in the lower half of the plant. The inflorescences consist of numerous small flower buds, which are held close to the leaves on the stem. The sepals are densely pubescent. The leaves and sepals of the plant are invariably coloured a distinctive light green and the petals are pure white, drying brown. The seed is lobed at one extremity and slightly flattened at the other, giving the general profile of a stubby bottle. The surface of the seed is reticulated with a deeply pitted texture. Drosera hookeri generally grows in open clearings, almost always amongst grass.
The local form of Drosera gunniana is tall, ranging from approximately 15 – 25 cm in height. Early in the season, the plants grows a moderately dense basal rosette of wide kidney-shaped leaves. Typically, one main stem emerges directly from the basal rosette. In larger plants, the stem may branch towards the terminus. The inflorescences consist of a few medium sized flower buds, which are regularly spaced at a moderate distance away from the last leaves. The sepals are densely pubescent with long hairs. The leaves and sepals of the plant are usually coloured an olive colouration. The petals are normally very light pink and dry pink, although some populations have white flowers. The seed is lobed at one extremity and slightly pointed at the other, giving the general profile of a hand grenade. The surface of the seed is reticulated with a shallowly pitted texture. Drosera gunniana generally grows at the edge of bushland and swampy bushland.