Species spotlight: Drosera zonaria

Species spotlight: Drosera zonaria

Drosera zonaria is a tuberous species that produces beautifully symmetrical rosettes of overlapping leaves. The species grows in a broad geographical band from Perth, through the inland wheatbelt and towards Esperance. I was able to find a few populations in my 2019 expedition to WA.

The species forms rosettes around 7 cm in diameter. The kidney shaped leaves, green in the middle and fringed in red, are stacked in concentric rings around the center. New leaves are constantly produced throughout the growing season, with each leaf being a bit smaller than the last. This results in an attractive rosette with a symmetrical mosaic pattern. The species blooms after fire with the flowers emerging before any of the leaves.

Drosera zonaria is fairly common in sandy plains across its range. It inhabits white sand in sparse scrubby bushland and coastal heath. The species tends to grow in small colonies and seems to mainly reproduce clonally. Its environment seems to be drier, although the winter rains keep the soils wet just a few cm below the surface throughout the growing season. When the weather starts to warm up in spring, the leaves die back to an underground tuber and lie dormant throughout the dry summer before re-emerging in the next wet season.

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