Drosera lunata

Drosera lunata

Drosera lunata is an erect tuberous species in the Drosera peltata complex. It is widespread across East Asia and SE Asia. In Australia, it is common associated with Queensland, although isolated populations occur down to Sydney. I have mainly observed the plants in the Cumberland Plain of Western Sydney so I can only speak of their ecology there.

In Sydney, the plants are more associated with rain more so than season (as opposed to the other members of the complex which are strictly winter growing). Here, D. lunata often awakes dormancy after substantial summer rains and quickly grows to flowering size. They inhabit the edges of woodland.

Drosera lunata forms a thin erect stem which often splits into a few smaller stems near the apex. The petioles are long and emerge from the main stem at harsh almost 90 degree angles (as opposed to say D. auriculata, which typically has petioles that emerge with a upwards curved angle). The lamina are crescent shaped. Flowering sized plants tend not to form a basal rosette, however it is present in younger plants.

Drosera lunata can be distinguished from other members of the peltata complex first by its glabrous sepals, a feature shared only with Drosera auriculata. These two species can be easily separated by the shape of their seed – Drosera lunata has rounded, oval seed whereas Drosera auriculata has very long cylindrical seed.

Drosera lunata in Western Sydney. Note how the petioles emerge from the central stem at almost right angles. The upper stems also branch, although this feature is also present in other related species.
Drosera lunata flowering in April. The other members of the peltata complex will only start breaking dormancy then.
The flower of Drosera lunata
Basal rosette of Drosera lunata
The sepals of Drosera lunata. Note that they are glabrous. The sepals of this population are denticulate.
Drosera lunata growing in the Central Coast north of Sydney. Note that the sepal margins of this population are fimbriate but the surface is otherwise glabrous.
Drosera lunata in the Central Coast
Seeds of Drosera lunata from the Central Coast.
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