This is the first instalment in an occasional series celebrating different plants of the Fleurieu, particularly those that we spot or try to reintroduce to the farm. It’s also a way for us to map and share our research and discoveries as we observe the regeneration of our property.
During our recent winter tree-planting extravaganza, Sean, one of our dedicated tree-planters, discovered a patch of Scented sundews (Drosera whittakeri), in the damp, mossy undergrowth around the gullies. With its distinctive white flowers, once we’d spotted one cluster, we discovered more in similar damp pockets.
The Scented sundew is a tuberous, winter-growing carnivorous plant that occurs across temperate South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales. It flowers from July through to September. As is described on the King Parrot Creek Environment Group blog, the sticky, red (and apparently sweet, although I haven’t tried it) liquid on the leaves attracts insects who then become trapped. As the insect dies of exhaustion or asphyxiation, the sundew releases enzymes to dissolve the insect and absorb the nutrients.
As a tuberous plant, propagation of the Drosera can be either through the separation and replanting of tubers when the plant is dormant, or through the collection and germination of seed. The Victorian Carnivorous Plant Society offers more information here.