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Plants - Drosera filiformis variety filiformis "Red"
Florida, May 8, 2009
|by Makoto Honda|
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This is a Drosera filiformis variety filiformis "Red" excursion led by Randy Zerr of Florida, a local CP enthusiast. We (Al, Jerry and I) met at a local service station on May 8, 2009 and followed Randy's SUV in our desperate search for this red sundew species known to occur only in this region of the Florida panhandle, north of Panama City.
After a few wrong turns and some walk in the forest, we arrived at what appeared to be an open, white, sandy area with thin surface water. This is a typical habitat of the red filiformis - a seep on the margins of lime sinkholes. We observed red D. filiformis var. filiformis growing by the thousands. It was early in the morning and we were greeted with explosive blossoms of their pink flowers.
This place is duly described as "weird." Is something in the water? Some leaked toxins, maybe? Why is our good old D. filiformis so red? Bloody red indeed!
PHOTO: Drosera filiformis variety filiformis "Red"
This site harbored quite a large number of Pinguicula planifolia. Typically the butterwort flowers are done by mid March in the south, but there was one good-looking blossom. We took turns to photograph this purple flower.
This is the second site we visited. The soil surface was very dry, compared with the first site. No waters on the sand surface. With the mid-day sun glistening in the sky, the UV reflection from the white sand was so strong I felt like I was walking on the Saudi desert (no, I haven't been there). Red filiformis plants were all stunted, only 15 cm or so. But they were numerous. Many Drosera capillaris were also seen. They were stunted as well, only 2 cm across. Yet many were flowering, with a short flower stalk. This presents a challenge for those trying to distinguish D. brevifolia from D. capillaris by size only.
On the other side of the lake, in a more grassy area, we found a population of Drosera filiformis var. tracyi growing among red filiformis plants. Scattered here and there were what appeared most likely to be a natural hybrid between red filiformis and tracyi. The tracyi is a green plant and far more robust-looking than red filiformis. The hybrid seems to have inherited the vigor of tracyi, but with the threaded leaf tapering more of the var filiformis. The leaf color is just in-between, appearing somewhat of an orangeish color.
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