The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

The Tuberous Fan-leaved Drosera1
D. fimbriata
D. humilis2
D. monticola2
D. platypoda
D. porrecta2
D. prostrata2
D. purpurascens2,3
D. ramellosa
D. rupicola2
D. stolonifera
1All in Drosera section Stolonifera
2Until recently considered a subspecies of D. stolonifera.
3Until recently called D. stolonifera subsp. compacta.

Q: The tuberous fan-leaved Drosera

A: Plants in section Stolonifera have, for the most part, erect stems and leaves that are somewhat fan-like. I editorialize freely when I note that these include some of my all-time favorite Drosera, especially the ab-fab D. platypoda!

Some of these species are exceptionally easy to grow, in particular D. ramellosa and D. stolonifera. The former is quite kind in producing viable seed, even when selfed. Both these species are also very generous in producing extra tubers every year, so that a single plant will, in time, fill a pot with marvelous plants.

Why do I like these plants so much? There is something to the tiered structure to the leaves, especially in the ascending species like D. stolonifera and D. platypoda, that is really marvelous.

Drosera fimbriata
This species is atypical of the group in that it does not form a basal rosette. Instead, the stem base is ringed by sets of radiating hairs.

Drosera platypoda
Upward-facing leaves, often extremely brightly colored, seduce my aesthetics! The stem does not branch, and each plant looks like a strange, extending octopus arm reaching from the ground. Quite nice.

The stem of this plant is strangely fleshy, and not wiry like the erect or scrambling tuberous Drosera, yet it does not topple even in fairly high winds.

Drosera porrecta
This species is more delicate, and has small leaves on long petioles. At first glance, it looks just like a normal erect tuberous sundew. But if you look closely, you notice the leaves are fan-shaped.

Drosera purpurascens
The clumpy species used to be considered a subspecies of Drosera stolonifera, but it is much more compact. (Indeed it was called subsp. compacta!) Plants I have seen in the wild can be very deep red.

Drosera ramellosa
This pale green plant can occur in very dense populations, excluding nearly all other plants. In cultivation, this character exhibits itself by the plant's proliferative nature. All the photographs I have seen suggest it is uniform in appearance over its entire range. This is interesting, because its range is very large in Western Australia and seems to be broken into separate chunks.

Drosera stolonifera
A rank grower that gets a little floppy in cultivation (and in the wild). Because of this character I don't like it quite as much as the others in cultivation. However, when it emerges from dormancy, the bud tip is encased in a ball of mucus, which admittedly raises its cachet in my book.

Plants in cultivation tend to be uniformly green, in my experience. Meanwhile, plants in the wild range from green to orange and red.

Page citations: Lowrie, A. 1987, 1989, 1999, 2005; Rice, B.A. 2006a; Schlauer, J. 1996, 2002; Taton, A. 1945.

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Revised: December 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005