Drosophyllum lusitanicum  

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Drosophyllum is a genus of carnivorous plants containing the single species Drosophyllum lusitanicum (Portuguese Sundew or Dewy pine). In appearance, it is similar to the related genus Drosera (the sundews), and to the much more distantly related Bybilis (the rainbow plants).

Drosophyllum lusitanicum is native to Portugal, Spain and Morocco, and is one of the few carnivorous plants to grow in dry, alkaline soil. The 20-40 cm glandular leaves, which uncoil from a central rosette, lack the power of movement common to most sundews, but have the unusual characteristic of being coiled outward when immature. The plant has a distinct sweet aroma, which attracts the insects it preys upon. When insects land on the leaves, they find themselves stuck to the mucilage secreted by the stalked glands on the leaves. The more the insects struggle, the more ensnared they become, ultimately dying of suffocation or exhaustion. The plant then secretes enzymes which dissolve the insects and release the nutrients which are then absorbed by the plant. The plant uses these nutrients to supplement the nutrient-poor soil it grows in.

Seed is the only known way to propagate Drosophyllum and they can be a little tricky to germinate.  First rub the seeds between sandpaper (100-200 grit seems to work best) one at a time.  Keep rubbing until you remove part of the black seed coat and can see part of the embryo.  After that soak the seeds in warm water for about 8 hours.  Sow on pure vermiculite and keep damp but not wet (even the seed can rot very easy).  The seeds could germinate in as little at 2 week or as long as 6 months. Check the seeds every few days and at the first signs of germination remove the seedlings from the vermiculite and place them in a 5-8 inch terracotta pot filled 1/2 inch from the top with a soil of 1 part sand, perlite and vermiculite: 1/2 part pumice ad 1/4 part peat.  Them plant that pot in a 9-12 inch terracotta pot filled with the same soil mix.

The double potting mat not be necessary but it sure seems to make things a lot easier to water.



Photo by Jeremiah Harris, Plants grown by Jeremiah Harris.


Drosophyllum lusitanicum Photos