Class Trip-Looking For wild Sundews
My AP envionmental science class is taking a trip to Rabun County Georgia to go camping and see several endangered plant species. We are visiting Tallulah Gorge, which is in a protected state park. I heard somewhere several years ago (I forgot from where) that D.rotundifolia lives on the walls of the Gorge. I have looked all over the internet to try to confirm this, but all I the information I could find was that D.rotundifolia grows in Georgia's appalachian foothills and is apparently "very rare" there.
I always thought D.rotundifolia was a bog plant, I have never heard of it growing vertically on cliffs. I visited Tallulah Gorge several years ago and hiked to the bottom of the gorge, but unfortunately, it was during a severe rainstorm and visibillity was very limited. I have seen a few pics of D.rotundifolia growing in "cataract bogs" with S.purpurea v. venosa ssp. montana. Cataract bogs are basically small clumps of sphagnum and vegetation clinging to rocks in the middle of rapids. I have never seen pics of D.rotundifolia growing vertically on cliffs, however.
When I get to Tallulah Gorge, where should I look for sundews? Tallulah gorge is a cool, wet microclimate. The cliffs are often dripping with water covered in thin vegetation like sphagnum. There are also many cataract bogs and a lot of sphag at the bottom of Tallulah Gorge.
Although Tallulah Gorge is federally protected and appears to be a perfect habitat for CPs and is in the range of several species (D.rotundifolia, D.capillaris, S.purpurea) I don't know if there are any populations there.
Can anyone confirm the presence of D.rotundifolia, or any other CP for that matter, at Tallulah Gorge?
Hello, I must be going...
Looks like Stephens County is where you want to be but you never know. Drosera rotundifolia has a wide range. Keep your eyes open. Read the disclaimer below the map:
Grow Pitcher Plants!
I can not confirm D. rotundifolia in that county of Georgia but habitat and your description of the area in which you are going sounds familiar. I can confirm the presence of D. rotundifolia among the wet trickling water falling off of stone cliffs and rocks outcrops in the Appalachians. I've observed them in Macon County, NC in large numbers in the wet cracks of the cliffs and outcrops growing with all types of wet moss. Be sure and check the cracks and any little microhabitats that are continuosly wet along those rock structures.
I found a website about Tallulah Gorge listing the notable and rare plants that grow there, D.rotundifolia and S.purpurea v. venosa ssp. montana have been recorded there!
Not a Number,
That map looks a bit suspect. While I am sure that there are D.rotundifolia populations in Stevens County, I doubt that there are D.rotundifolia populations on Georgia's Coastal Plain. 9 out of 10 rotundifolia distribution maps I have seen show D.rotundifolia's range spreading into south georgia, alabama, mississipi, louisiana, and florida. I have never seen pics of plants from these areas, nor have I ever heard of D.rotundifolia living here. The mid Atlantic/chesapeake area is the southernmost area that D.rotundifolia occurs as a coastal bog plant. Further south in appalachia and Japan, it is a mountain bog plant. The book, Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada says that D.rotundifolia has been reported from the southern Atlantic coastal plain, but is unconfirmed. I think the culprit is D. capillaris.
D. capillaris is, despite its commonness, a poorly understood species. Some say it is actually a complex of several undescribed species. D.capillaris's formal description states that it has pink flowers and leaf blades longer than wide. I have seen and grown several clones of D.capillaris that have white flowers and leaf blades wider than long. These plants were undoubtedly D.capillaris as they did not form hibernaucula, had thick petioles, and were too large to be D.brevifolia, but they had two characteristics (white flowers and wider than long leaf blades) that "defined" them as D.rotundifolia.