The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

By the Mountains of Madness

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The hybrid:
This plant in the glaring sun looks a lot like Drosera anglica, but it ain't. The leaves are a little shorter and the plant is a little clumpier than you would expect for Drosera anglica. In fact, it is the hybrid between Drosera anglica and Drosera rotundifolia. It is called Drosera ×obovata.

It is sometimes hard to tell whether a plant at this lake is Drosera anglica or Drosera ×obovata, and I expect you might want to argue with me about this photograph. (And maybe you would be right!) I have seen many plants on the mat which I couldn't make a call on. It is a lot easier in the fall, though, because during that season the flower stalks of Drosera anglica are all plump and full of seed while the stalks of Drosera ×obovata are skinny and empty (the hybrid is normally sterile, although I know of at least one mad scientist-horticulturist trying to change that). Also, Drosera ×obovata tends to make thicker, more luxuriant clumpy stands of plants than Drosera anglica--this is because the hybrid vigorously divides vegetatively.

Oh yeah, something else. I have seen Drosera anglica in Oregon, near Mt. Hood, and those plants do not have long leaves like the Californian Drosera anglica. In fact, the Oregonian Drosera anglica look a lot like the Californian Drosera ×obovata! As you might guess, it is particularly tricky, in Oregon, to distinguish the Drosera anglica from the Drosera ×obovata. For example, both plants look very similar when young. However, at maturity the Drosera ×obovata has leaves with outlines intermediate in size and form between the D. rotundifolia and the "short-leaved" Drosera anglica. Also, the hybrid is sterile, so in the fall they can be easily distinguished by the contents of the fruit.

Interesting stuff.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005