The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Western Australia in 2007

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Our journey began. We drove south, passing Bunbury, and were not far south of the previous day's Utricularia multifida site when Phill pulled off the highway and parked on a sandy side road. The rain pattered down on the hood of the car, but I was so excited I didn't really care. We stepped out and followed a path that took us to an opening in the jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) woodland. And do I mean opening--the ground was pure white sand with almost no vegetation. It was like a dune blowout surrounded by woods.

Phill pointed to the sand. There, without any cover or protection of any kind, were dozens of little Drosera paleacea rosettes!

These plants were growing on a delicate slope of the softest sand imaginable. I thought about the countless times I've slogged down the faces of dunes kicking up sand--a careless person goofing around here could easily wipe out nearly every pygmy sundew in this little haven.

I noticed with unease that the area was crisscrossed with tracks from motorbikes and all-terrain vehicles.

Beth and I started photographing these plants, just as the rain resumed. You can see that the sand is pocked by rain drops. The amphibious climate was getting our camera gear wet, which concerned me greatly.

The rain grew in wet cruelty, and as I had become soaked and chilled, I hid under what little cover the shrubby tea trees (Leptospermum) provided. Drosera paleacea grew under these shrubs as well, which made me happy since these areas were unattractive to the motorcycle set. Notice that photograph includes a straggly Drosera menziesii plant.

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Revised: December 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005