Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sundews from Seed - Drosera capensis; some Carnivorous Plant notes.

Quite some time ago I planted some sundew seeds I acquired from a Bid or Buy (South Africa's answer to Ebay) seller, Seeds and All and planted them up in a mixture of moss, peat and perlite and sealed them in ziplock bags to do their thing. This seller has a habit of throwing tons of extra seeds (of plants you didn't order) in as "freebies"; if you look at my Stash over at Folia, all those seeds except the Welwitschia are "freebies" from this source.  I still have to get around to planting the Welwitschia!

Just the other day, I noticed that the Drosera capensis seeds have germinated and put out minute rosettes of sundew leaves! I'm still waiting for three other sundew species (natalensis, madagascariensis and trinervia) and some venus flytrap seeds to germinate, but I'm starting to suspect they're not going to.:(

Anyway, here's a 1:1 macro picture of a few of the little plantlets in all their minute glory!

Drosera capensis - cape sundew seedlings. 1:1 macro.
OOAB's Senior Management thinks that this should be the new OOAB background image...

Apparently, D. capensis is by far the easiest sundew to grow, to the point that it magically self-seeds itself around your collection and is apparently capable of germinating feats that might suggest spontaneous generation! My sincere hope is they go on to be insect eatin' machines of Doom, laying death and destruction upon those small creeping and flying creatures that might wish to snack upon my treasured green things! I'd like some butterworts for the same thing, but I have yet to find any for sale in .za. I also have two Nepenthes pitcher plants (a veitchii 'pink' and an x hookeriana), which have been dubbed "the pod plants" by OOAB's Senior Management. I'm clearly still working out how to grow them as they don't look like the happiest campers. Stay out, bugs, lest you be snacked upon! I'm not sure what looks I'd get if I happened to obtain some Nepethes rajah, which are infamous for (rarely) dining upon rodents, particularly given Senior Management's dearest beloved creatures.

p.s. Yes, I know they're not orchids ;)