Natural hybrid between Drosera gunniana and D. auriculata

Natural hybrid between Drosera gunniana and D. auriculata

A natural hybrid between Drosera auriculata and Drosera gunniana can be found in south east Melbourne. This hybrid is identifiable mainly through its flowers, which represent a mid-point between its parents. The sepals are sparsely hairy, contrasted with the densely hairy sepals of D. gunniana and the glabrous sepals of D. auriculata.

The moderately hairy sepals of Drosera gunniana x auriculata

The petals are light pink, which at that location are considerably closer in shade to D. auriculata. The flowers also have a propensity to open in cool shaded weather – unlike those of D. gunniana, which open fully only on sunny days.

The plant is multistemmed and tall.

The stems and leaves of the hybrid resemble a particularly robust specimen of D. auriculata in that they are long and floppy (in contrast to D. gunniana, which is generally self-supporting). The inflorescence sparsely populated by flowers and is held high above the last leaves.

The basal leaves of the hybrid

The basal rosette seemed to sport bracts reminiscent of D. auriculata as well as a few basal leaves, although at this time of year the bottom leaves begin to decompose. Note that in the Melbourne region, multi-stemmed D. auriculata are not uncommon so this trait was not too distinguishing of a hybrid.This hybrid has been reported in the general region, but as far as I’m aware, this is the first report of it at this site. I was only able to locate two specimens of the hybrid, so it appears that these events are uncommon. The plant is sterile.

Drosera auriculata x gunniana

I have also found a natural hybrid between D. hookeri and D. auriculata.

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