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Drosera madagascariensis "sp. botswana"

I just had an email from my source for this seed who informs me he send it to me misidentified. Since I am not growing my plants from his seed, I am curious as to the form of the plants produced from it. If anyone has this growing from the seed I sent, can you tell me if the plants have a long ascending stem, or are they more like D. nidiformis? If they are in fact similar to D. nidiformis, they are! My apologies in advance for any confusion.
I also received seeds of D.madagascariensis that turned out to be D.nidiformis. What a coincidence.
This is a perfect example of the exponential spread of misidentified material. I strongly recommend that anyone growing D. madagascariensis look closely at their plants. D. madagascariensis forms a tall ascending stem, nidiformis does not. Some lable changing might be in order as many growers I have spoken with seem to have encountered this particular problem.
Yea, madagascariensis does produce a tall stem, mine (from D'Amato) is about 5 icnhes right now, with only the top inch growing with green leaves, the rest is all dead stem. Very interesting this plant is.

Take a look at these photos. The seeds i have grown these plants from were labeled Drosera madagascariensis. For me it seems to be Drosera nidiformis as well.

Hawe d'äre Christian,

you are not the only one who got mislabeled Dr. "madagascariensis" which turned out to be Dr. nidiformis in Germany.

I grow Drosera madagascariensis and it looks like this :


- errect stem
- dying leafes are pointing down and close to the stem
- flower stalk emerges horizontally from stem

I also grow Dr. nidiformis and it looks like your plant (but mine fowers white(?) if I remember correct)

Thanks for the photos. I suspect this is an example of seedbanks dispersing mislabeled seed to all quarters of the world. I ran into this same problem on the UK Forum, and as I mentioned, a friend in Australia has the problem as well.

Christian, your plants are nidiformis, and appear just like the plants I grew from mislabeled seed. I do not think the origin of this material is with the ICPS seedbank. Can anyone say where they got their incorrect seed? I would like to trace this back to the source if possible.

Martin, I think your madagascariensis is a little different from mine, the petioles are thinner. Mine come from "sp. Botswana" seed, and my plants have never flowered for me.

If you ever have spare seed of D. madagascariensis, I am very interested in such, perhaps we could trade?

Thank you for the answers. I got my seeds about 2 years ago from Fred Howell in Australia. I also got some other seeds form him ( for expample Drosera communis and Drosera burkeana), that seem not to be what they were labeled.

Gorgeous madaga Martin, looks like mine, yet mine is way taller lol.
  • #10
Hi all ,

oh , a tread as I like them !

Martin : I think you have the "typical" D.madagascariensis , the form that was described formerly as it in fact.
I grow another form : petioles are erected , and taller (1cm)
I yet haven't seen it flowering (have it since a few months)

Christian : I think you have a plant that was formerly labelled D.sp.Magaliesburg , wich was identified as being D.nidiformis.
But : I grow D.nidiformis and D.sp.Magaliesburg , and I cant agree to William (I feel so sorry...) , even not to the "identifiers"...
Why : D.nidiformis has white active hairs , while yours have reddisch.
Also , D.nidiformis petioles are not as long as thoose of your Drosera. And the leaves are not this much erected...
on the other hand , thoose "symptoms" appear to be thoose of D.sp.Magaliesburg : longer petioles , erected leaves , looking "thinner" than D.nidiformis , red active hairs...

I received some D.nidiformis and D.sp.Magaliesburg (3 years old plants) from a friend , to compare with mine , and we are "right" about the ID of our plants...(what not mean that we are right at all , in fact ! )

What do you mean , William ? I think this should be interresting to clear...what do you think about my "red hair theory" ?

And , last but not least , I grow a D.sp. Okawango Delta , Botswana....what seem to be a "form" of D.madagascariensis , but from a wetter and hotter part of the country. Leaves are very small , petiole mesure 5 mm, and are pointing down when dead ; also havent yet seen the flower.

Sorry , I have no pix....


  • #11
Hi Patrice,

In fact, I have 2 forms of Drosera nidiformis. The first is in all ways similar to the photo posted by Christian: I note the how green this plant is, no matter how much light is given. In full summer sun, the plant turns a golden color with some red glands, but this is only in full strong sun. The general appearance of the plant is green, so I am not surprised at your notation of the white hairs vs. red hairs of the other clone. For a long time, I thought this might be the acaulescent form of D. madagascariensis. My conversations with Robert Gibson confirmed that this is in fact, D. nidiformis.

Part of my confusion was based on the *appearance* of plants grown from seed from the ICPS seedbank. These plants were less robust, but of an over all redder coloration than the above mentioned plant, and conform to what I know of as D. nidiformis.

Taxonomically, they are probably both simply D. nidiformis. Taxonomy cares little about individual variation (such as coloration), and seeks that which unites these variations into a unified whole. In the case of the African species, this is a very difficult task!

One thing which surely sets these 2 species apart is in regards to the scape: D. nidiformis lacks the glandless hairs which are found on D. madagascariensis (the exception being the basal inch or so).

It is entirely likely that there is some introgression in the "sp. Magaliesburg" example. My gut level instincts say it has some involvement with D. natalensis.

D. nidiformis has been the cause of much taxonomic disention, with some authors claiming that the species is no more than a variation of D. dielsiana (supported by the fact that a cross of both species produces fertile seed&#33

Also keep in mind the distinction between D. dielsiana and D. natalensis is not as black and white as Exel and Laundon suggest in their description. What we are dealing with in African Drosera species is a "complex" where phenotypic expression is virtually unlimited by genetic restrictions between the supposed "species" i.e. D. natalensis, dielsiana and nidiformis. In such a "melting pot" we must be very careful about the criteria that grants species status. It is simply not enough to note that two plants look different, and to conclude that they must therefore be different species.
  • #12
Hi Wiliam , all ,

Interresting what you said. I agree with your explanations , but I wasn't trying to give a species status to that plant (I havent the Biological knowledge for this)...I simply observed this little difference.

My idea is to give the name " D.nidiformis , Magaliesburg form " , but not "simply" the name "D.nidiformis" to that plant.

Another "problem" is the fact that if we dont give "specific" names , or something like that , to "specific" plants , we will have another "nidiformis"-ID-War somewhere....dont you think ?
Also , the fact that you said that you have two forms of D.nidiformis is another is another piece of pavement for my explorer-path.

Another thing : it's good to discuss about plants with pix , internet , the same plants to make comparisons...how was it years ago , as Botanists where using "snail-mail"
Terrific days , terrific !!!

  • #13
Here are a couple of D. madagascariensis "Botswana" pictures.


  • #14
The option also exists through the ICPS cultivar registration service to register this "Sp. Magaliesburg" as a cultivar. This would provide a central reference (hopefully with some good photos, please&#33
. The difference between the two forms you have noted should be enough to allow for this description.

I think they should be kept apart. I feel these desirable forms deserve preservation and distinction in collections, and this is the best option I can come up with to do so. I have a great dislike for all "Sp. designations", they only generate confusion and dissention. What we need is for someone to be about this registration process! I am as guilty as anyone at procrastination, since I have not yet registered any such plants. We need a dedicated person to obtain, research, and describe this material en masse! Perhaps someone on this forum?

Until we can get these "Sp. Whatever" plants centrally listed and described, there will continue to be many mysteries such as this!

I made a Listserve post regarding this particular problem. 2 large commercial growers and distributors here in the U.S.came forward and admitted to selling this material for as long as 7 years(!!&#33
, so I think this problem will be always with us. The best thing to hope for is that the topic is brought up every so often for the purpose of educating new growers of these plants.

Once again, the Internet proves to be an invaluable tool, and seeing the photos is worth a thousand words. We are all learning much faster these days, and maybe can avoid future examples of this sort of confusion.