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

Species of Africa and Madagascar
Subgenus Genlisea
G. africana Oliver1 Zaïre, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia
G. angolensis Good2 Angola, Zaïre
G. barthlottii Porembski, E.Fischer & Gemmel3 Guinea
G. glandulosissima R.E.Friesr4 Zaïre
G. hispidula Stapf5 Nigeria, Cameroun, Central African
Republic, Kenya, Tanzania,
Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi,
Mozambique, South Africa
G. margaretae Hutchinson4 Tanzania, Zambia, Madagascar
G. pallida Fromm-Trinta & P.Taylor6 Angola, Zambia
G. stapfii A.Chev.7 From Guinea-Bissau to Cameroun,
Central African Republic, Gabon,
Zaïre, Angola
G. subglabra Stapf7 Zaïre, Rwanda-Burundi, Tanzania,
Malawi, Zambia
G. taylorii Eb.Fischer, Porembski & Barthlott8 Angola
1Flowers violet or blue or mauve or pink (rarely green, yellow, or white), with white splotch and yellow spur.
2Flowers violet or blue or mauve or whitish.
3Flowers violet to mauve, with white
4Flowers mauve to violet, with white and yellowish palate.
5Flowers violet or blue or mauve to pink (rarely yellow or white), with white splotch and green to yellow spur.
6Flowers cream with yellowish palate.
7Flowers violet or blue or mauve or with yellow to green spur.
8Flowers mauve or purple with white marks between purple reticulations on palate; upper lip whitish.

Q: Old World Genlisea species

A: All these species are restricted to tropical and South Africa, with the exception of Genlisea margaretae which also occurs in Madagascar.

Nearly all have African Genlisea bear flowers with some variation of pink, lilac, or violet petals. Genlisea pallida is the only species with flowers of a regularly pale color.

Hybrids may occur within the African species. Plants have been observed in the field which may be Genlisea margaretae × glandulosissima and Genlisea angolensis × pallida.

Many of these species are the most under-studied in the genus, and many are not in cultivation. This is partly because they live in difficult to access habitats. Most live on one of two kinds of somewhat exotic habitats---inselbergs and ferricretes.

Inselbergs are large, dome-shaped granitic or gneissic rock outcrops which lack much of a soil covering. Plants live on their nutrient poor surfaces only during the short time of the year when rainwater drains off its surface. African inselbergs are rich in carnivorous plants, such as Drosera, Genlisea, and Utricularia. These plants apparently spend the dry season as seed. However, if cultivated in continually moist conditions they might persist as perennials.

A ferricrete is a kind of soil profile where loosely consolidated gravels are cemented together by iron-rich compounds like iron oxide. They are indicators of long periods of tropical or subtropical weathering. Both because the ferricretes are heavily weathered, and as such lack nutrients, and because plants growing on the ferricrete are isolated from more nutrient-rich soils, carnivory is an useful strategy.

Genlisea hispidula--In my experience, this is the easiest species to grow. It produces large foliage, large traps, and many flowers that look strangely like Cephalotus traps. It can be propagated by seed, leaf cuttings, and trap cuttings.

Genlisea margaretae--This species seems to be a little on the delicate side. I have grown it for a few years now, and it has not gotten very large. I am growing it in a sphagnous mix, and it is persisting but not thriving.

Page citations: Barthlott, W. et al. 2007; Fischer, E. et al. 2000; Porembski, S. et al. 1997; Rice, B. 2006a; Schlauer, J. 2002; Taylor, P. 1988, 1991a.

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Revised: August 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005