Drosera gunniana Species Profile

Drosera gunniana Species Profile

Drosera gunniana is a species of erect tuberous sundew native to the east coast of Australia.

The basal rosette of Drosera gunniana is well developed and moderately dense.

The species is somewhat variable in morphology and colouration, potentially representing a grouping of similar taxa. In Victoria, the most common form grows a moderately dense but well developed basal rosette which is retained in flowering sized plants. Later in the season, an erect stem emerges. This stem reaches around 20-30 cm in height, sometimes with side stems that generally grow out of the upper half the major axis. The inflorescence is held close to the last leaves. The flower buds are relatively large with densely hairy sepals. The petals are commonly light pink towards white. The overall colour of the foliage is generally olive green, although light green and red forms grow in some locations. The seed is generally oval in shape, with a prominent lobe at one extremity and a point at the other, giving the overall profile of a hand-grenade. The surface of the seed has a reticulated pattern with shallowly pitted texture.

Drosera gunniana is found in the south-east states of Australia, with a sighting also in New Zealand. The species is commonly encountered in flat, open grassy woodland, especially in inland regions. It is also associated with seepages, including those at the edge of bushland and moss beds in mountainous environments.

Drosera gunniana is part of the D. peltata complex, and is especially closely related to D. hookeri. The NSW herbarium PlantNet website groups it with D. hookeri. Many older collections list it as D. peltata (in general D. gunniana grows in more inland locations whereas D. peltata grows in the coastal heaths of NSW).

It is reliably distinguished from D. auriculata and D. lunata by its hairy sepals. The species differs from D. peltata and D. gracilis by the shape of its seed, which has a prominent lobe at one end. Drosera gunniana is distinguishable from Drosera hookeri by its tall stature, sparse branching that is mostly restricted to the upper half of the major axis, darker olive colouration, and grenade shaped seed. In contrast, D. hookeri is sometimes short, has branching that occurs on the lower half of the plant, is invariably light green and has bottle shaped seed with deep reticulations.

See also: A pictorial key of the Drosera peltata complex

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