What's new
TerraForums Venus Flytrap, Nepenthes, Drosera and more talk

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

how to get positive sessillifolia ID?

  • Thread starter Ras
  • Start date
I would love a link to a picture of a known sessillifolia, thats probably my best shot for an ID.
Any of Fernando Rivadavia shots taken in-situ Brazil are going to be the real deal.


From what I've heard Christian Dientz said a quick way to ID D. sessilfolia vs D. burmanii is that D. sessilfolia has red margins on the pads of the snap tentacles where as D. burmanii they are clear. Of course all bets are off if they are hybrids.
Last edited:
they appear to have pink petals similar but a little less vibrant than a spatulata flower

cpphotofinder has these white flowers labeled .. this was probably just a mis-id?

they also had this one which looks more like the description at the top of the sessilifolia page on cpphotofinder

true sessilifolia is probably the pink one correct?

i am trying to get the specifics down because I want to find some TRUE sessilifolia with pink petal flowers that I can experiment with,
Last edited:
There are variants of burmannii that have pink petals. 'Pilliga Red' is a notable one, and I have a pure green form with pink flowers as well. D. sessilifolia tends to in cultivation have shorter, more rounded leaves than burmannii, an overall smaller and more compact growth form as well. Of course this is a very different look from Rivadavia's photos of the wild aquatic plants, mind you... and as mentioned above hybrids take all bets off.
ok judge my plants, I need more opinions.


so I am guessing this is most likely sessilifolia? thats what I have had it labeled, the flowers are white with a pink hue most similar to this (this picture is from photofinder, not my plant)

and these would be burmannis right

assuming thats what u mean by longer leaves than the sessillifolia(long green leaves on far left of pic)

so would you say I have it labeled right or could my sess be a hybrid or, are there sessifolia with whiteish flowers..? whats the deal here.
Last edited:
Ras - I grow an all-green form of D. burmannii and the petioles on your first plant are much shorter, if that is any help. You have convinced me that I need to grow D. sessilifolia with that photo.
In my limited beginners knowledge I too believe that first pic to be sessilifolia.
Speaking with Ivan Snyder this weekend the subject of his trip to Australia in the 90s came up. He happened to mention the Drosera burmannii "Beerwah" that is so widely spread in collections throughout the world. He said he collected it across the street from the Beerwah National Park. I'm guessing he means either the Glass House Mountain National Park or the Beerwah State Forest. He collected the largest plant he could find which just happened to be green but there were plants of many colors in the same location some the same color as the petals of a pink rose.

It would appear that at least in cultivation that people have been treating these plants as the type or holotype of D. burmannii (at least from Beerwah). It is not as the plant was selected for size. A type or holotype specimen is best selected as an average plant that best represents all the features that define the species.

Ivan later crossed D. sessilifolia with D. burmannii which produced fertile hybrids. These plants and seeds were distributed. Due to the carelessness or laziness of growers these hybrids have been passed around or sold as either D. burmannii or D. sessilifolia. The hybrids may also have been back-crossed with D. burmannii or D. sessilifolia either accidentally or on purpose.

The same more or less has happened with D. ultramafica and the D. ultramafica × spatulata hybrid.
Last edited:
That first image you posted certainly looks like sessilifolia. The third pic, certainly the green plants on the right are burmannii, the darker red ones in the middle are harder to tell, but I would guess burmannii, or possibly hybrids.
It would help if the plants I received as seeds of the true sessilifolia would get growing already, so I could compare them myself....and I got them directly from the ICPS seedbank manager, so I would trust he knows what he's got after growing them for years....
  • #10
The same more or less has happened with D. ultramafica and the D. ultramafica × spatulata hybrid.

An interesting history and one which explains a few things. So Ivan Snyder also did the cross that produced the D. ultramafica x spatulata hybrid? I'm a big fan of that one.
  • #11
thanks for the help guys
I suppose I will leave it labeled sessilifolia until someone tells me there are no white flowered sess's
  • #12
An interesting history and one which explains a few things. So Ivan Snyder also did the cross that produced the D. ultramafica x spatulata hybrid? I'm a big fan of that one.

No, that was from Siggi Hartmeyer and it may not have been an intentional cross. Regardless, it seems the hybrid seeds had gotten distributed from various seedbanks as D. ultramafica.
  • #13
....and I got them directly from the ICPS seedbank manager, so I would trust he knows what he's got after growing them for years....
If you already asked him & he told you the ID with confidence, I'd agree. However, John isn't able to grow out all seeds that he receives. Like most seedbanks, he relies on the people sending him seeds to label them accurately. ... and as already mentioned, even some of the most trustworthy people (ie: Siggi) can make mistakes - or unintended things can happen (ie: insects in a greenhouse make an unintended cross).

With two species like D. burmannii & D. sessilifolia that are very similar and many generations of assorted unlabeled/incorrectly-identified hybrid combinations in circulation, it may not even be possible to ID a specific plant with 100% certainty. Have you gotten both official descriptions & tried to definitively go through the attributes? It's often more difficult than trying to compare one trait that is readily visible.
Last edited:
  • #14
not to muddy the water anymore but this is sessilifolia
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif]

same plants just grown under better lighting. And source of the seed banks seeds

[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif][/FONT]
  • #15
It is my understanding the John B himself is the source of the D. sessilfolia seeds in the seedbank (i.e. plants from his collection).
  • #17
Looking at that pic of the lower light sessil's, makes me even more confident of my newly sprouted plants being the real thing along with the background they have.....
It appears even in lower light though they clearly have the shorter, more rounded leaves than their relatives, and I'm seeing this more clearly with each new pic that shows up, not to mention burmannii stretches out in lower light too. And in the larger aquatic "forms" that rounded lamina is just set out on the end of a notable petiole.
Oh, and Ras? Your flowers are quite pink compared to most burmannii, and on par with pics of most pink flowers in this complex I've seen, I wouldn't call that a "white flowered" sessilifolia.
Last edited:
  • #18
yea but I compared that to pics of wild sessifolia by fernando

far left u can see an open flower

aswell as these from pic from photofinder


which is what got me wondering if "true" sessilifolia have pink flowers, because so far all the sess with the "wild" growth pattern all seem to have pink flowers aswell. before this past week I had always thought sess flowers were white with a pink hue. maybe the pinkish flowers mine have are because it is a hybrid?
again this is why I was going to just label it sessilifolia until someone tells me for certain that sessilifolia do indeed have hot pink flowers.
I suppose the only way to know for sure is to ask someone who has seen them grow in the wild at multiple sites to find out if there is a known site where sessifolia grow with more whitish flower petals
Last edited:
  • #19
St. Hilaire's description of D. sessilifolia in Latin

Drosera sessilifolia

D. foliis radicalibus, sessilibus, cuneatis, apice obtusissimo laciniato-ciliatis, usque ad medium ciliato-glanduliferis, basi subtusque nudiusculis; stipulis cilaiato-multipartitis; scapo complanato, glabro; calycibus glanduloso-pubescentibus, stylo 5-partito.

Radix fibrosa, nigra, Folia radicalia, creberrima, rosaceo-cespitosa, 6-8 l. longa, sessilia, cuneata, apice obtusissimo laciniato-ciliata, viridia, supra ab apice circiter usque ad medium ciliis rubris obtecta, basi subtusque nudiusculis; stipula basi interiore instructa in semi-circulum disposita. Stipula ciliato-multipartita, Scapus solitarius, subspithameus, complanatus, hinc et inde 1-striatus, glaber, pauciflorus. Flores secundi, pedicellati : pedicellus 1-3 l. longus, glandulis rariusculis obsitus, calyce brevior; infimus ebracteatus; caeteri bractea stipati parva, lineari, obtusa. Calyx turbinatus, profunde 5-fidus, glanduloso-pubescens, persistens; laciniis latiusculis, lanceolato-linearibus, obtusis. Petala 5, hypogyna, cum laciniis calycinis alternantia iisdemque longiora, subunguiculata, obovata, obtusissima, integerrima glaberrima, purpurea, persistentia. Stamina 5, hypogyna, cum petalis alternantia, glabra, pistillum subadeaquantia, perisistentia; filamenta filiformia, complanata; antherae subcordatae, inter lobos basi affixae, immobiles, posticae, 2-loculares, externe longitrorsum dehisoentes. Stylus 1 terminalis, profundissime 5-partitus, glaber, persistens. Stigmata 5, terminalia, 5-7 partita; divisuris teretibus, albidis. Ovarium 5-gono-globsum, glabrum, 1 loc., polyspermum: ovula numerosa, placentis quinque affixa parietalibus, semi-cylindricis. Capsula vestita calyce petalisque et staminibus marcidis, stylo coronata, 5 valvis; valvulis media septiferis. Semina ovata, nigra.

Affinis D. cuneifoliae Lin. sup. et D. Burmanni Whal.; differt autem a priori praecipue foliis revera sessilibus, inferius usque ad medium nudiusculis et scapis glabris; a D. Burmanni notis foliorum supradictis glandulisque calycinis pedicellatis.

in palubus prope praediola Tapeira et Riachao in deserto provinciae Minas-Geraes dicto Certao-do-Rio-de-S.-Francisco. Florebat Julio, Augusto.

Ok, so D. sessilifolia has purple flowers. D. burmannii can have pink/purple or white. So if purple or pink it could be either or a hybrid. If white probably D. burmannii or a hybrid. However the second to last paragraph is all important. St. Hilaire notes the similarity to D. cuneifolia and D. burmannii and notes the differences.

Google Translate:
Similar to D. cuneifoliae Lin. sup. and D. Burmanni Whal .; in reality, however, differs from the previous one, especially the leaves sessile, glabrous below, even to the midst of the nudiusculis and its shaft; D. Burmanni leaves marks above calcycinis pedicellatis glands.

As far as I can make out the differences with D. cuneifolia has to do with the hairs or lack of there of on the undersides of the leaves and the flower scape. D. burmannii has something to do with glands, pedicels and calyx.

If someone can translate the Latin the answer to the question may lie there.

Here are scans of St. Hilaire's notes, holo and isotype herbarium specimens of D. sessilifolia
Last edited:
  • #20
as I suspected, mine might be a hybrid which is why the flowers are so much whiter than ones I've seen photographed in the wild....
I found this old post that helps clear some things up
Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:01 AM
"Hi guys!

The characteristics separating these 2 species are:

1.) Flower scapes erect in D.sess. (usually ascending in D.burm.)
2.) Lamina rounded in D.sess. (usually triangular in D.burm.)
3.) Flowers pink in D.sess. (usually white in D.burm.)

As you see, these are not very "strong" differences, especially because D.burmannii may present any of the above characteristics, but they are usually not all 3 found together as in D.sessilifolia. I can't tell from your pictures if the scape has a curve at the base, since it's hidden among the leaves. I also can't tell, but the flower seems white to me. But the leaves are rather more rounded than usual D.burmannii.

It's very hard to say, but I'd place my bets on D.burmannii or else a D.burmannii X D.sessilioflia hybrid.

Good luck!
Fernando Rivadavia "

the more I read the more confused I get, idk anymore what mine is. might not even be drosera

side note I would love a pm from anyone who knows where to get sessilifolia with real pink/purple flowers. just putting that out there
Last edited: