Drosera spiralis

My first thoughts when I discovered this species were: Drosera spiralis is a more interesting Drosera filiformis, with an intriguing name. Why more interesting? Because it has a very peculiar way of unfolding its leaves, that looks like a more complex variant of the usual circinate type. As far as I know, D. spiralis was rare to non-existent in collections before 2010, but has spread widely thereafter. I received two specimens from Damien Jouen, a fellow French grower. As per their tropical origins, they took place in my terrarium.

August 2019

As the sundews did not fare as well as I wanted in the terrarium, I decided to try and grow them outdoors for the summer. It was not particularly convincing either, but I wanted to give them time and avoid stressing them further.

Well, this all ended on August 18 when a severe hailstorm basically destroyed them and the pot they were planted in. Unfortunately, I was not there to move them to a safe location prior to the storm.

Time will tell if they can survive… back into the terrarium. Where there’s green there’s hope!

Drosera spiralis
It’s as if someone kicked the pot hard. But that breakage was probably caused by a single, large hailstone. The others did the rest.

April 2019

A small population of gnats has seen the light of day in the terrarium. It is great to see the plants get their food “naturally”. They also prevent the tank from being completely infested.

Sundews are inherently very effective at catching flying insects. While they can fly away from the top of a pitcher, they are doomed right at the moment they touch a Drosera leaf. Not to mention the very attractive mucilage.

Both Drosera spiralis have been catching a generous amount of gnats since their inception. What bugs me is that, due to too little air movement within the terrarium, most gnats mold after a couple of days, which I suspect hinders the digestion process.

Gnats on Drosera spiralis
Gnats are suitably sized for most sundews.

December 2018

The plants took their time to settle, and are only starting to make slightly longer leaves than when I received them. Also, I cannot get them to produce more mucilage than what we can see on the photo.

When winter takes its toll on outdoor vegetation, ever-growing plants are a blessing!

Drosera spiralis growing in a terrarium
Basking in the early morning sun. Note how the moss has developed and spread in just four months.

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