Drosera kenneallyi Species Profile

Drosera kenneallyi Species Profile

Drosera kenneallyi is a sundew in the section Lasiocephala (the Petiolaris complex) endemic to the Kimberleys of Western Australia and the Top End of the Northern Territory.

The species has relatively large reniform laminae that are produced a the end of a long, thin petiole. The laminae are often coloured bright red while the petioles are variably green to red. The plants are rather large and can grow around 8 cm in diameter. The species enters dormancy at the onset of the dry season, retreating energy from its leaves and forming a resting corm under the surface of the soil. This is in contrast to most other members of the Petiolaris complex, which form a hairy bud of leaves.

I observed the species near Darwin where it occupied a grassy flood plain adjacent to a swamp. The plants here grew in a sandy silt substrate that was overlaid on top of laterite base rock. The species is recorded by Lowrie to grow in a shallow layer of hot water at the peak of the wet season, with the laminae floating at the surface of the water.

Drosera kenneallyi can be distinguished from other members of the Petiolaris complex by its moderately large, reniform laminae.The species shares an obvious affinity with D. falconeri which shares the reniform lamina morphology and subterranean dormancy. It can be distinguished by the size of the laminae, which are much larger in D. falconeri.. Whereas D. kenneallyi is mostly known from the edge of swamps, D. falconeri grows in the floodplains of large rivers albeit in similar niche in sandy silt beneath tall grass.

Drosera kenneallyi. Note the reniform laminae at the end of a thin petiole.
A dormant specimen. Note the lack of a hairy leaf bud. The laterite base rock can be seen.
Two plants with a ruler.
The habitat in the grassy flood plain of a swamp.
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