D. Regia I had to write more.

Kevin Snively (ksnive@premier1.net)
Wed, 27 Sep 1995 20:55:48 -0700 (PDT)

Hello Family
I didn't expect quite the response I received from the
posting a few days back when I wrote about _D. regia_ and am now
feeling the need to write a bit more about my experience. First
_ALL_ the seed I produced this year had already been sown or
distributed by the time I posted the original message. I sowed
90% of them my self thinking _D. regia_ had a viability problem.
This is not the case. I'm now sure the trouble I had getting my
first plants started was due to bad seed, and not related to any
reproductive quirks of the species. Although I got no where near
the quantity of seed one would expect from _D. capensis_
germination rates appear nearly as good. The remaining 10% went
to local friends who have waited patiently for me to propagate it
since spring 1993 when it became apparent I had been successful
at getting it started.

On 5/19/92 I sowed several seed of which one germinated in approx.
30 days. Following Slack's direction on the subject which was far
from adequate I watered on the tray system. Through out the summer
the plant was sickly and I pronounced it dead in October 1992.

New seed was acquired and sown on Dec. 7 1992 and began showing
signs of germination on Dec. 18. A short time later I began to
loose some of the seedlings to damping off. I decided to take
them off the water tray and away from the soggy conditions I
had been trying to grow them in and allowed things to dry ever
so slightly before adding more water. The plants rewarded me by
perking up and growing a bit. The winter passed and on towards
the end of spring when things were warming up well the plants
started going down hill again looking sicker each day. I'm not
sure where but some where I read that they were a mountain species
and so I decided to try 1 or 2 of the sickest out side in my
green house where things were much cooler than they were inside
my house. Again they perked up and started growing for me. It
was so fast and sure that with in a few weeks they were all out

Things grew well through the rest of the summer, and as the _Drosera_
became large enough to crowd each other they were transplanted into
separate pots. I decided to make my soil much looser and added extra
sand and Perlite. In the fall it was decision time again. I only heat
my green house in the winter to 35 deg. F. (1.7 deg. C.) and was
worried it might be too cold. I chose to move the largest and 3rd
largest into the house where it is warm and leave the rest in the
greenhouse. The following spring 1994 there were 4 plants left. 2
in the house and two in the greenhouse. Although I left more plants
in the greenhouse than the house I considered the results inconclusive
since those that were lost were known to have been eaten by Slugs.

Much of what I had supposed to be true was later confirmed
by two books I have read or read parts of. The first is the
Drosera section from The Flora of Southern Africa Vol. 13
By A.A. Obermeyer;

"D. regia, known only from one montane locality near Worcester in the
Cape, also stands apart because of its robust rhizome, its large size
and undivided styles."


"17. Drosera regia Stephens in Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Afr. 13 : 309 (1926);
Flow. Pl. S. Afr. 7 : t.243 (1926). Type: Cape Wellington, mountains
above Bainskloof, Slanghoek Peak, head of Witte River Valley, Stephens
s.n. (BOL, holo.!; K!)."


"CAPE - Worcester : mountains above Bainskloof, Witte River Valley,
Stokoe 1610; Stephens 2001 (BOL); Primos sub Marloth 6677; Slanghoek
Mountains, Esterhuysen 8648 (BOL)."

The second is Kwongan Plant Life of the Sandplain. Edited by Pate
and Beard for a conference dealing with Mediterranean Terrestrial
Ecosystems held in Perth during the mid 1980's. As far as I'm
concerned it is still required reading for any one who wants to
understand the cultivation of Tuberous Drosera. What this has to
do with _D. regia_ is this....

Kwongan (Australia), chaparral (California), maquis (Med. Europe),
matorral (Chile), and fynbos (South Africa) all have the same approx.
meaning, similar plants, rains, seasons, soils, fires, ect...

Many of the South African Drosera grow in the fynbos vegetation.
During the summer of 1994 I moved the _D. regia_ from the greenhouse
to the outside and gave it the position of honor next to the night
security light in the back yard and put it on drip irrigation.
A few weeks later I was horrified to find that I had over loaded the
branch the plant was on and that it was not receiving what I
thought was enough water. The plant didn't even notice.

I gave away two of the remaining four plants and left the same one
in the green house again for the winter 94/95 and the same one in
the house. This summer the one in the greenhouse bloomed and set
seed, the one in the house got sick and was sent back to the GH.
and this winter they will both live there. Both are planted on
Tuberous Drosera media.


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