View Full Version : Drosera Mystery
01-25-2004, 03:49 AM
South African Drosera at times stubbornly will not conform to published descriptions. This plant was received as D. madagascariensis: it certainly is not. By virtue of the hairy leaves, I would be inclined to accept D. natalensis as a possibility, but the flower bears strong affinities to D. dielsiana. Note the shading toward the flowers center. The styles are too divided at their apices however to fit the description for that species. When will these South African's learn how to behave! I welcome any opinions on this plant.
The flower showing the styles:
This is the first flower so I have no details of seed character or viability.
01-27-2004, 02:26 PM
Lol. Pretty plant though!
01-27-2004, 02:27 PM
Note though that flower color can be highly variable and means almost nothing.:)
01-28-2004, 10:01 AM
Not in the South Africans. Floral color is important in several species, D. natalensis being one of them. Deep pink/purple flowers are not characteristic for this species, which has paler flowers, although as a determinator floral color is generally unreliable within the genus.
01-28-2004, 11:53 AM
Is there a way to tell whether or not it is a hybrid rather than a pure species? I'm reaching here, I know, but I just had to ask...
04-15-2004, 06:27 PM
Schloaty (and anyone interested in the species concept),
I swear I answered this question, but it looks like the answer went the way of my wallet......
To answer, (if you haven't died of old age), the terms "species" and "hybrid" are in my opinion mutual terms applied as tools to look at a process spanning millions of years.
It is arguable that many species arose as hybrids involving previously existing species, which over the course of millions of years competed with the other species which colonized the same niche. The hybrids may in fact have out competed the parent population, and radiated widely. Such may be the case with D. dielsiana which may in fact be a hybrid involving D. burkeana (Schlauer: Pers. Comm. 2002). Now D. dielsiana is the third largest species in S. Af. But it may have originally been a hybrid!
This is happening "today" with the comparitively recent formation of the new species D. anglica. In many populations, D. anglica may have outcompeted its ancestors. since it is found where D. linearis is not. Is this a hybrid or a species? Well, that's where personal opinion comes in.
I have been discussing the species concept with Robert Gibson, and he agreed that "species" is not a noun, it is a verb. Any attempts to take a cross section sampling of a million year old process is going to be highly synthetic.
(Members of the ACPS can look forward to a very interesting article by Robert on this subject sometime in the near future. I look forward to that! Don't tell them I told you, lol.)
Finally, my discissions with Robert regarding this particular plant pictured above points the ID in his opinion to D. natalensis. TAAA DAAA! However, I feel the styles are too much in form like D. dielsiana, I feel it in my bones. Robert takes his inspiration from the lamina characteristics, and I am looking at the flower: so who is correct?
I have asked the Great Wise Ones if there was any point to point way of determining what is most important by way of the diagnostic features mentioned in the Keys, and the reply was there is no one single feature more important than another, and all had to be considered, the exceptions being unique features found only within a given species.
I was also cautioned to firmly dismiss the concept of a "type" specimen as ever having any hopes of defining the range of variability expressed within any species. It will not because it cannot, and the accuracy of such a "type" is directly dependent on extensiveness of the field researchers personal experience. It's sort of a doublethink where you must consider the "type" while at the same time keeping in mind that the concept is synthetic from the start.
In the end, it will be realized that these terms reflect only personal opinion, validated by experience and study. No one but you can really answer these questions. Beyond this, you look to someone you trust. For me, that would be Robert, so D. natalenisis it is! ( but my note regarding the styles added for the seriously obsessed few that would give a hoot :-)
I am probably best described as a mystical taxonomist. I have a lot of these details stored in my brain, but in the end, it is something else that leads me to call one or another plant by a species name: its sort of a third eye type of experience.
Hybrids or species there are always surprises for those that care to look into heart of the plants, a sort of personal.....style. The thing is to have an open mind when it comes to species concepts and be willing to reform your own ideas and opinions when new data is presented.
04-16-2004, 08:51 AM
personal style? Oh, how I missed those puns.... http://s98622558.onlinehome.us/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
You bring up a good point, though. One of the traditional requirements for two organisms to be of the same species is that they are able to mate and produce fertile offspring. The plant world kind of throws this right out the window when you realize how many "hybrids" can actually produce good seeds.
04-16-2004, 02:10 PM
You got the pun! Ain't no flies on you, guy, LOL!!
04-18-2004, 06:58 AM
How come all rosetted doseras look like D.intermedia or D.capillaris to me?!?...maybe cuz thats the ones I'm most familiar with! http://s98622558.onlinehome.us/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://s98622558.onlinehome.us/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif Its going to be a long time before I can identify cps likes pros; ie. all the Tamlins around here http://s98622558.onlinehome.us/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://s98622558.onlinehome.us/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif ...now its just for fun (taking this hobby nice and steady...) http://s98622558.onlinehome.us/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif \
04-18-2004, 06:08 PM
What does aff. stand for Btw? Just curios(sp?) ,
04-25-2004, 04:36 PM
Abbreviation of "affinity".
It means that it appears to be related to whatever specific epithet (species name) follows the abbreviation.
04-26-2004, 12:24 PM
I am not sure if this is actually a legitimate usage, but Joseph is correct. I know Lowrie uses this designation, and it does serve to communicate that although there may be affinities with the named species, there are also some significant anomolies as well.
04-26-2004, 12:30 PM
With taxonomy you have to be able to look closely at the important details relative to the genus. In Drosera, these characters include small details of the way the styles fork, the way the scape comes out of the rosette, details of the stipules, the nature of the hairs and glands found on the petiole and peduncle, seed size and testa. After awhile the information gets internalized.
Another good way to learn is to review protolouges, and study of the botanical drawings which are often provided in them.
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