Thursday, May 5, 2011

Drosera pygmaea, Tathra, NSW

A few weeks back, I spent the weekend at a lovely beachside town called Tathra (pronounced "Tarthra"). Of course, I took some time to look for CPs and was not disappointed. A few kilometers out of town, I found some Drosera pygmaea growing underneath powerlines. Finding them was pure fluke - I stoppd the car within a few meters of them - but on exploring the easement, I found the plants were restricted to only a few square meters! I was actually expecting to find D. spathulata or the ubiquitous D. peltata/D.auriculata, so D. pygmaea was a really nice surprise indeed!

The soil the plants were growing in was rather a heavy grey-black clay. The area had been mowed and was dominated by grasses with very few herbs. The easement had been cut into Eucalyptus dominated coastal forest. Only a small area of the powerline easement was damp enough to support the Drosera. But looking at the site on Google Earth, I saw that if I had walked a few hundred meters more, I would have come to a waterlilly-encrusted lagoon. There probably would have been more plants, and possibly D. spathulata, growing there.

In some parts of the colony, the plants were growing very close together. They are probably clonal, resulting from gemmae scattered by rain or similar.

For some scale of these plants' size, here are some growing in a sandy patch.

 A very few plants were producing gemmae (photos taken early March). I will likely be back, so I'll pay the site another visit and see if I can find other CPs.