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Thread: What Exactly is D. sp. South Africa?

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    What Exactly is D. sp. South Africa?

    I just received seeds but don't know what goes into this. I googled the name and came across some blurry pictures. To me, the plant looks a lot like D. cuneifolia, but IDK.

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    superficially resembles D. cunneifolia, or any other rosetted Drosera from south africa, lol. main difference from cunneifolia is that cunneifolia's leaves are wedge shaped, whereas D. sp. south africa, is wedged on the outside, but has an overall sharp teardrop form in the overall leaf.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    When a plant has a designation Genus sp. whatever it means it hasn't been adequately identified against known species - it could be a new species, subspecies, form or variety awaiting publication of a formal description and herbarium specimens. Obviously if ever accepted and published the latin or latinized name can be completely different than the "temporary" name.
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    Just another bogus name attached to a packet of seed that produces a plant which doesn't conform to legitimately published plants at the species level. Different packets so named can produce different plants entirely, as there is no standard to compare them too, other than visual consensus from comparing a large number of photo's like on Bob Zeimer's site. But even this can be problematical since generous distribution by an individual can make it appear as if that particular form is more legit than others less distributed. Hmmm, maybe it IS! So it's just bogus from a botanical stance. In fact, ANY South African species can be a problem to collectors since in habitat they morph into vastly different looking plants even in habitat. Ask yourself rather if it's a desirable plant to grow. If it is, consider publishing it legitimately at the cultivar level and save future generations from asking the same question. There never is an answer as to what any "Sp. thingy" is. Not ever.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Thanks, Warren & Tamlin. And hopefully, in a year, I'll have something to post.

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    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    Hey Jim,
    I know the email link probably still won't work, but for some reason, posting the picture seems to work....
    I will have to upload the rest of my pictures tonight, but this is the only one i have right now:

    As for its id....the closest thing I could guess is a really really odd form of D. natalensis lol. No matter what it vaguely resmebles, this particular species definitely stands in its own category- only problem is that there's a sort of similar-looking D. sp "Pretty Rosette" but I like D. sp."South Africa" better .
    Last edited by CPlantaholic; 07-29-2010 at 06:28 AM.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I'd be thrilled to have it look half as good as this!

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    Very nice looking plant for sure! I would very much like to see the flower details and/or a seed photo. Yes, the natalensis complex is huge and extremely variable so it could fit in there. Seed would probably be more diagnostic. Petiole length isn't always diagnostic for this genus, and certainly not for The South African's. I am inclined towards D. dielsiana because usually the petiole length is shorter in that speciesbut probably this is just another of the many N=20 karyotype variations floating about. I want to see the divisions of the styles, and the seed testa.

    You see the difficulty in trying to assess bogus names? How can you be sure this isn't ANY of the "Sp." designations? I've had plants come from "Sp. Auyan Tepui" that produced both this form (which has nada to do with South America) and also plants that were surely D. spatulata. Maybe once such seed produced a South American type plant but as there is no publication, there is no reference. So as far as taxonomy is concerned there can be no assessment.

    So who cares? I don't anymore. It's a beautiful plant worthy of distribution and IMO publication at cultivar level would let future generations of CP growers communicate intelligently regarding it. Collectors are obsessed with names, and there is a rational way of naming them. It's an easy process, and I continue to advocate for the horticulturalists rights to name these ambiguous plants independently of taxonomy in spite of the problems I have had doing so from certain taxonomists who apparently do not understand this process.

    But if you do choose to publish it, please drop the Sp. designation from the name! Drosera 'South Africa' is acceptable, and so is Drosera 'Pretty Rosettes'. One or the other, but not both!
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