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Thread: Drosera admirabilis or D. cuneifolia

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    I've always appreciated the appearance of Drosera cuneifolia but was never able to obtain this species. Recently, however, I obtained some seed of Drosera admirabilis from Seandew and a potted plant of the same species, from a visit to California Carnivores. The seed is growing nicely and so is the potted plant. My question is, what is the consensus concerning the identification of this species? Is Drosera admirabilis the same as Drosera cuneifolia? Or are they different, though similar species?



    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    What?! I happen to have both in my collection. Time to brak out the magnifying glass and take a good look. Eventually, I'll have pictures of both to post. I was also told that D. cuneifolia is in the D. aliciae complex. I didn't even know that D. aliciae had a complex!

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    throckmoron's Avatar
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    I have D. cuneifolia as a very small seedling and a mature admirabilis. I can't offer anything from observation of my 1/8" plant, but looking at the picture of D. cuneifolia in The Savage Garden, I would say it does not look at all like D. admirabilis or D. aliciae. If anything it looks a bit like a huge D. hamiltonii (in the photo anyway)

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    As with so many of the South African species, as far as taxonomy goes, looks are often the least of the matter. Many seggregations are based on minute morphometric considerations. In regards to horticulture, these are certainly different plants. D. cuneifolia is far lager and well grown examples often get that gold/green coloration found in so many S. African species. In taxonomy, the wheels of revision turn slowly, and prexisting published literature exerts a powerful inertia often difficult to overcome. There has always been a dichotomy between field studies and the more scholastic studies of the existing published literature and herbarium sheets, yet both studies are essential for taxonomic consideration and species determinations. Recent field and cytological studies sure open the door for seggregating the two, and I would support that. At the same time, I feel there are also good grounds for keeping the two taxa lumped together and am happy that this call falls on broader shoulders than mine. The ICBN is a scholastic entity spanning centuries, so a "let's just wait and see" stance isn't uncommon considering such revisions must be tracked and conserved in perpetuam, and it's a likely bet that no one is going to rush to the cupbord to open the can of worms that is the hallmark of South African Droseracae. Granting the extreme variation to be found in these taxa, a very narrow view in regards to their seggregation is all that has prevented an unintelligent proliferation of species novae. Splitting is out for the S. Af's and this should please and not distress those that grow them: we can't keep track of what species we DO have to grow!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Thank you Jim, Colin, and Tamlin for your responses.

    I am glad that I am presently engaged in trading for some seedlings of Drosera cuneifolia so I may learn to grow, yet another, little sparkling plant of this delightful genus.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Hi guys!

    I just saw both in the wild last month... I'd say they're good species or at least subspecies.

    Best Wishes,
    Fernando Rivadavia

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    Hi,

    from my cultivated plants i am convinced, that they are at least subspecies (if not species). The flower structure is quite different as are the stipules and overall size of the plants. At least in cultivation, they cannot be mixed up if you have seen them once side by side.


    larger picture

    @Fernando: may i ask in which location you have seen the plants? I think to remember from a lecture at one of the last AGMs of the GFP, that the population on the Table Mountain does not grow larger than Drosera admirabilis in nature. I wonder if i remember correctly, or if this is completely wrong

    Christian

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