Drosera stolonifera

Drosera stolonifera

Drosera stolonifera is a fan leaved sundew native to Western Australia. The species breaks dormancy at the end of winter with a stolon that emerges out of the soil and runs horizontally for a length before inflating to a basal rosette of leaves. Out of this rosette comes 2-4 sprawling semi-erect stems. Along these stems emerge whorls of cuneate leaves which have relatively short petioles. An inflorescence of white flowers emerges directly from the central rosette and is held higher than the stems.

The species can be found in heathy swamp and forest in the Swan Coastal Plain and south-west peninsula, and in Jarrah forest into the Darling Scarp. The species grows in sandy loam or in laterite substrates. En masse flowering occurs after summer fire.

D. stolonifera is the type species of the subgenus Stolonifera, a complex of fan-leaved tuberous sundews. Within the complex, it shares a sprawling semi-erect morphology with Drosera humilis, rupicola and purpurascens. Drosera stolonifera is most similar to D. purpurascens (which was previously known as D. stolonifera ssp. compacta). It is distinguished by its larger size, thicker and proportionally shorter petioles, and greater number of stems.

Drosera stolonifera growing in forest near Bunbury. Note the fleshy semi-erect stems that emerge from the central rosette.
Drosera stolonifera growing south of Perth
Drosera stolonifera growing in woodland in the Bunbury area
Drosera stolonifera growing in the shrubs adjacent to a swamp in the Bunbury area
Drosera stolonifera growing in laterite based clay in the Perth Hills off the Albany Highway. Notice how the floral inflorescence emerges from the basal rosette. Lowrie refers to these plants as the ‘hills form’
Drosera stolonifera blooming en masse in Jarrah forest, after earlier hazard reduction burning. Off season fires (such as prescribed burns in winter) are actually detrimental to most winter-growing carnivorous plants and their ecosystems. D. stolonifera seemed to benefit due to it emerging so late in the season, but nearby D. collina were singed.
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