Drosera spatulata of alpine New Zealand

Drosera spatulata of alpine New Zealand

In the volcanic fields of the Tongariro alpine national park grows a diminutive form of Drosera spatulata. This form is truly adapted to an alpine lifestyle, growing 1,200 m asl and under a blanket of snow in winter.

The NZ alpine form of Drosera spatulata alongside a 20 c coin (diameter 2.175cm) for reference.

The form has a maximum diameter of around 2 cm, although flowering sized plants often only attain half that size. The flower is as large as the standard D. spatulata, and so appears proportionally oversized. In contrast to other forms, the flower scapes are very short and each only bear one to three blooms. Plants produce multiple scapes at once.

Each plant bears multiple concurrent flower scapes. Each scape only has one or two flower buds usually.

The form was first described as Drosera minitula in 1889 by Colenso, who was perhaps so excited by his discovery that he re-described it a year later as D. triflora with no mention of the previous publication.

The habitat. The plants grow in wet areas alongside water channels and in depressions.

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