Sundews of the Dandenong Foothills

Sundews of the Dandenong Foothills

The hills of SE Melbourne provide refuge for sundews that have been spared from agriculture and urbanisation of the land. I explored the area on the first day of spring, finding three members of the D. peltata complex.

Drosera hookeri

At some point in the past, the hills seem to have been cleared of its vegetation. The grassy clearings in the secondary bushland and on smaller tracks is the preferred habitat of Drosera hookeri. In Melbourne, this species is identified by its bright green foliage and short stature.

Drosera gunniana

In seepages at the edge of undisturbed forest, Drosera gunniana can be found. This is a close relative to D. hookeri, sharing common features like a persistant basal rosette and hairy sepals, but can be distinguished by its taller growth and larger flower buds. Some individuals were coloured a bright green, although the species is more typically red-tinged.

Drosera auriculata

Drosera auriculata was found in gently shaded clearings in open forest. In southern Australia, the species is distinguished from other erect tuberous sundews by its glabrous sepals.

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