Drosera schizandra – notched sundew or heart-leaf sundew
You’ll fall in love with the heart-leafed sundew! If you can grow it…
Drosera schizandra is a carnivorous perennial herb with fibrous roots found in Wooroonooran National Park on Mount Bartle Frere in Queensland, Australia near its 2 other “sisters”, Drosera adelae and Drosera prolifera. D. schizandra grows in wet sand on the banks of rivers and creeks and on moss-covered rocks in rainforests and vine forests (Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants).
It is a low-growing plant that is often described as “carnivorous lettuce” because of its broad, green leaves. These leaves usually have a notch at the tip, giving the plant its common name. Drosera schizandra produces small flowers that can range from pinkish to darker purple hues and closely resemble those of schizandra’s sisters, Drosera adelae and Drosera prolifera (though the petals are rounder, resembling prolifera more than adelae’s star-like flowers).
Unique biology of Drosera schizandra
Drosera schizandra is believed to be moving away from carnivory. The tentacles on its leaves are short and sparse and often only produce dew on the leaf most recently produced. Because D. schizandra prefers dim, humid environments, prey that it does manage to capture can easily mold – if it isn’t stolen by neighboring ants first.
Growing & propagating
Considered the most difficult of the 3 sisters, Drosera schizandra has some rather unique growing condition preferences compared to that of most other carnivorous plants: it likes it cool, humid, and low-light.
Drosera schizandra flowers rarely, does not self-pollinate, and usually produces little seed when successfully pollinated but the plant does tend to clump, producing plantlets from its roots. It can also be propagated by leaf cuttings.
You'll fall in love with the heart-leafed sundew, Drosera schizandra! That is, if you can figure out how to keep it happy... It is a beautiful and unusual specimen, and one of the few carnivorous plants that grows on the rainforest floor!
I'm not sure why this sundew isn't more common in collections; it's literally named for its spectacular ability to proliferate. Along with Drosera adelae and Drosera schizandra, it is one of the “Three Sisters from Queensland” as coined by Peter D'Amato in The Savage Garden.
I've heard Drosera filiformis referred to as nature's anti-aircraft gun for its ability to snipe flying insects out of the air. It's more commonly called the thread-leaved sundew due to its slender, filamentous leaves that reach towards the sky in an effort to tempt low-altitude insects into taking a detour to Sticky Town.
Drosera capensis 'Narrow Leaf' This is your typical "common" capensis. Drosera capensis 'Narrow Leaf' is an incredibly hearty sundew that I have found hard to kill even through repeated neglect. That said, it's a [...]
A monster of a forked sundew, D. binata dichotoma 'Giant' generates forked sundew leaves up to two feet long with four to twelve forks. Since individual leaves fan out from the central growth point, you can end up with 4 foot sundews!
Cape Sundews hail from South Africa, and are some of the heartiest Drosera around. They're easy to grow, producing bountiful flowers atop long flower stalks and thousands of seeds - often becoming weeds growing amongst your other carnivores.