Well in my opinion I must say that there's something suspicious about Mr. Lowrie's recent Byblis photos. The link to his publicly posted Forum photos can be found here;
Firstly, any Byblis I've ever grown always shows evidence of prior leaf growth on the bottom base of the main stem, usually pointing downwards like so. Note size of plant;
Secondly, using the above Lowrie photos as reference, there is definitely no bracts of any kind present on the lower main stem near the ground the supposed "B. rorida" in the photo. In fact, the few visable dead leaves that are present are coming up from what looks like what once was a finger hole in which a cutting was placed. Note the curvate shape of the emerging withered leaves from the indentation, which suggests the cutting was shoved into the ground with a downward force that caused the dead leaves to bow around the edges of the indentation... or what once was a hole. Even once the dead leaves are gone, a series of bracts are usually visable. Some of the dead leaves depicted even appear to be partially buried. Byblis never produces leaves completely flush with or below ground level when grown from seed, in my experience. Also, I suspect that the supposed "B. guehoi" accompanying "B. rorida" is one of the Byblis forms that has been sprayed with B-9 (Daminozide) or some other growth regulating hormone that stunts the internode length and produces bizarre branching and flower-producing anomalies, and is sadly...trying to be passed off as a naturally occuring new species or type-locality of Byblis. In my opinion, the supposed "second location" is simply someone's flower-bed. The final location photo is simply provided as a placebo and isn't even relevant to the "cutting" photos. Below are photos of some of my rooted B. 'Goliath' [filifolia] cuttings which were at one time, tops of clones. You'll see the definite relevance to the above mentioned instances when comparing the bottom main stem to ground zones with my photo below;
The above photo is a fine example of a Byblis 'Goliath' plant that has combined attributes of three supposed species. Using Lowrie and Conrad's paper on B. guehoi as a guide. The below reference paper was legally purchased by myself from Mr. Lowrie on 10/9/08 via his CP papers/music CD that is offered for sale on his seedlist.
I'll explain the combined traits. "pedicels longer than leaves" is present, which is a definitive trait of B. guehoi. B. liniflora is the only other species cited that supposedly shares this trait. Also, note the branching occuring. However, when viewing the flowers abaxially, one can see that they are purple. Per official description, B. aquatica is the only other Byblis species mentioned that has "purple backed" flowers;
Now, let's compare sepals, anthers and filaments;
Note the various sepal lengths existant on the same flower. In my opinion, this discredits the use of sepal to petal length comparisons as a definitive form of species identification within the genus Byblis. The filament color is pale lavender, which is supposed to be the definitive trait of B. aquatica, B. filifolia and B.liniflora, per the official species descriptions.
Now, let's focus our attention on "pedicel to leaf" comparision as a positive form of species identification. Below is a photo of a B. 'Goliath' clone. Notice that all flowers are open, but as one progresses towards the top of the plant, pedicel length decreases. The taller the plant gets, the pedicels eventually become equal to, then shorter than the length of the leaves. B. guehoi and B. liniflora are cited per official description as the only two species possessing "pedicels longer than leaves" The photo below proves pedicel length is useless in species identification.
On the topic of pedicel to leaf comparision, take a look at the supposed photo of "B. rorida" by Lowrie. To the left you can see a fruiting capsule that's almost the size of the entire plant!! One of "B. rorida's" most definitive traits per official species description is "pedicels shorter than leaves". The pedicel depicted is easily three times larger than any leaf on the plant. Well, I guess that pretty much proves my point.
Another topic one may find quite interesting, is the fact that Florabase (a well-known and popular Australian plant database) has had the photos of Byblis aquatica, Byblis rorida, Byblis guehoi and Byblis lamellata removed, with two being more recently. How convenient! This was one of the few official, (if not only) botanical databases that is publicly accessable as a comparative, neutral tool for identification of supposed Byblis species, other than the photos of grossly misidentified plants most growers have in cultivation. My opinion is that this is purely intentional, in order to frantically try to fix the blatent mistakes within the genus. (I've always thought that B. lamellata and B. gigantea are the same plant, just slightly different flower traits) Now, the only thing growers will have is these "new" photos of Byblis surfacing from Lowrie to take their place. Proof of the forementioned can be provided with the following link;
Alas, I can say that B. 'Goliath' [filifolia] clones have been successfully growing in many different parts of the world by reputable, long-time CP growers for many months now. It is finally being proven by various growers that flooded conditions, wet conditions and dry conditions greatly influence overall plant growth habit, leaf size, pedicel size, seed size and flower morphology within the genus Byblis, giving the illusion of forms that deserve seperate species status. I am also pleased to report that the final results regarding the usage of the growth inhibiting B-9 (Daminozide) will be released soon, by two well-known German growers. So far, B. 'Goliath' [filifolia] clones are responding with growth habits almost identical to the Japanese "B. guehoi" forms, with multiple branchings occurring from leaf bracts, shortened internodes and over-all size and increased inflorescences, including huge flowers. Official detailed research documents and photos will be released soon on the Florida Carnivorous Plant Society's website and Forums. I guess i'll now step down from my soap box and leave you with photos of my latest creation, Byblis 'Goliath' [filifolia] "Multicolored variant". I will make myself available, should anyone wish to discuss the above instances quietly, intelligently and in a gentlemanly fashion.
I'm guessing that the links I've provided, along with the photos in question may magically disappear or be altered after certain people read this post. Should that be the case, I'll gladly provide the proper research tools to anyone that asks, as I've legally purchased actual copies of the above mentioned reference materials, descriptions and papers.
Documentation of pulvinus;
ICPS Director of Conservation
President/The Florida Carnivorous Plant Society
Added 8/7/09; The above article reflects the opinion of Brian Barnes. It in no way, reflects the opinions of the ICPS.