Species spotlight: Drosera rupicola

Species spotlight: Drosera rupicola

Drosera rupicola is endemic to the granite outcrops of the Western Australian Wheatbelt region where it grows in the wettest patches of loam atop a granite base. These gigantic rock surfaces are hotspots for Drosera, deflecting and concentrating the winter rains around their base. The large plants have sprawling octopus like stems adorned with oval shaped leaves. A profusion of white flowers emerge as the plants break dormancy towards the end of winter. These features unite it with other species within the diverse Stolonifera complex.

Drosera rupicola shares its long-armed sprawling morphology with D. stolonifera, humilis and prostrata. Its niche in the outcrops of the interior Wheatbelt does not overlap with the other species. It can be distinguished by its particularly robust stems and leaves.

A single specimen of Drosera rupicola. Note the substantial basal rosette, thick stems and thick laminae.
Drosera rupicola grows in wet mossy loam on granite outcrops in the Wheatbelt region. The large plants have several sprawling stems emerging from a central rosette.
The inflorescences of Drosera rupicola emerge from the basal rosette.
At select sites, both the red and green form of the species can be found growing side by side
The species occupies the base of granite outcrops, where winter rains keep the mossy loam wet. The specific epithet ‘rupicola’ means growing on rocks.
Drosera rupicola at the base of a granite outcrop. At this site, they grew alongside D. granticola
Habitat of Drosera rupicola at the wet bases of granite outcrops
Populations of Drosera rupicola alongside a water channel. Heavy downpours create ephemeral swamps as the gigantic granite surfaces deflect and concentrate rain around their base.
A large population of Drosera rupicola at the base of a granite outcrop.
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