Robert Gibson's CP Expeditions in Oz

From: Fernando Rivadavia Lopes (
Date: Wed Apr 14 1999 - 21:13:17 PDT

Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 21:13:17 PDT
From: "Fernando Rivadavia Lopes" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1351$foo@default>
Subject: Robert Gibson's CP Expeditions in Oz

To all,

       As if it wasn't bad enough that I keep sending endless mails
to the listserv with the accounts of my travels, now I'm sending
other people's accounts as well!! :):) Rob doesn't have easy e-mail
access at the moment, so he asked me to forward the account of his
latest travels in Queensland to the listserv. Hey Jan, pay attention
to the bit about the D.spatulata with the 'T'-shaped style. And that
strange D.spatulata form from Gympie sure seems like it deserves to
be described at some level. I've seen it in cultivation and it's very
beautiful! Interesting that it grows together with the common form of
D.spatulata too. Well, ENJOY!


Field work in south eastern Queensland.


Thanks to Fernando I'm able to post this summary of recently made
observations of a selection of carnivorous plants in south eastern
Queensland over Easter. During 5 days I spent time around Gympie and
Maryborough, before heading north west to the amazing Blackdown
Tablelands (about 170km west of Rockhampton). During this trip I saw
6 species of Drosera and 6 species of Utricularia, and also visited
Bruce Pierson. The following is a summary of these travels.

Around Gympie and Beerwah

In the Gympie - Beerwah area I saw D. burmannii, D. ?peltata, D.
pygmaea, D.spatulata (2 variants), U. aurea, U caerulea and U.
uliginosa. Drosera burmannii was in flower and appeared of typical
form. The Drosera ?peltata variant has smooth sepals but short seeds
and was in fruit at the time of the visit. Drosera pygmaea was still
producing flowers and fruit, and some plants were commencing gemmae
formation. Two variants of D. spatulata were seen both of which had
standard, narrowly wedge-shaped leaves. The more common forms had
tall, virtually hairless scapes and pink or white petalled flowers.
The other variant, seen east of Gympie had scapes under 10cm tall
which had large pink petalled flowers and long, silky, white,
eglandular hairs on the sepals, pedicels and upper peduncle. The
latter form was locally common and grew with the typical form and the
other Drosera species.

Utricularia aurea was found in a local lake, with most specimens seen
on the lake edge where they'd been stranded by subsiding flood
waters. U. caerulea was seen in flower in a roadside gutter near
Beerwah. Both white and pale purple flower forms were seen and they
grew with D. spatulata. U. uliginosa was seen near the hairy scaped
D. spatulata variant and had striped purple flowers.

Around Maryborough.

I visited Bruce Pierson and his family at their property near
Maryborough (Thanks Bruce). Bruce has been growing carnivorous plants
for over 17 years and has both a great collection and considerable
experience with their cultivation. On one of the three dams on his 5
acre property he floats pots of Sarracenia in polystyrene boxes. Some
of the highland Nepenthes (especially N. khasiana and N.khasiana x
alata) are threatening to grow over his entire shadehouse.

Native carnivorous plants occur on his property, including D.
burmannii, D.?peltata, D. pygmaea, D. spatulata, U. lateriflora and
U.minutissima. All but the latter were seen in flower during the

Before heading north I accompanied Bruce and his family on a trip
near Childers to check out a carnivorous plant site seen some years
before. Here we saw D.burmannii, D. pygmaea, U. caerulea and U.
minutissima by the roadside. Both Utricularia were in flower and
revealed that both pale and dark purple flower forms of U. caerulea
occurred here. A single open U. minutissima flower was found. It
resembles a tiny U. lateriflora flower and we set up a photo of this
bladderwort beside a comparatively huge flowering plant of D.pygmaea.
Hopefully these photos will turn out.

The Blackdown Tablelands

This sandstone plateau is just south of the Tropic of Capricorn. It
has an amazing vegetation which includes 6 species of carnivorous
plant: D. binata var.multifida, D. burmannii, D. ?peltata, D.
spatulata, U. dichotoma and U.uliginosa. This site is amongst the
northernmost of Drosera binata. Of interest this population has pale
pink flowers. An interesting feature seen in the otherwise apparently
standard D. spatulata plants is that the styles are "T"-shaped: i.e.
very like that seen in the South African D. admirabilis.

The Utricularia dichotoma grew on the upper part of the plateau and
appeared typical of this species. The creeks were often carpeted by
U. uliginosa leaves and scapes. In addition to the typical form of
this species, a lovely form with a distinctly blue tinge around the
dome on the lower petal were seen.

On the way back home I saw a Drosera indica site near Narrabri (in
inland north eastern New South Wales). The plants grew in a sandy
creekbed and were in flower. They had leaves with a full cover of
stalked retentive glands and white
petalled flowers. The entire plants smelt distinctly sweet; a little
bit like honey. This is probably due to a naphthoquinone in this
species (Thanks Jan). Maybe the high level of this chemical in this
variant makes it even more attractive to insects, for these plants
had caught more insects than comparatively sized, but scentless
plants seen recently near Cairns?

It was a wonderful 5 days.



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