Whoa, nelly! At over an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter Drosera scorpioides is a giant pygmy sundew. This titan among tots builds stems atop prior petiole growth similar to other sundews like D. capensis. It’s commonly known as the shaggy sundew (probably due to a combination of fuzzy petioles, long tentacle growth, and a build up of old leaves) and hails from the Jarrah Forest of Western Australia and southern coasts of Southwest Australia. Even the pygmy plants want to kill you in Australia…
D. scorpioides naturally grows near sandy ridges and swamps in clay, white sand, and laterite (a soil type rich in aluminum and iron).
Unique biology of Drosera scorpioides
Leaves are cupped and ovalish with abnormally long tentacles that perform formidably against small prey like gnats.
In late autumn, Drosera scorpioides produces gemmae (like most pygmy sundews). Use these to propagate your plants as seed production isn’t a reliable means to perpetuate the species.
These mighty sundews enjoy full sun, the water tray watering method, and temperatures between 40° – 80° Fahrenheit. They can experience brief dormancy during especially hot summer months, but it is not a necessity in cultivation, and plant care doesn’t change even during a dormant period.
Bright windowsills and fluorescentor LED grow lights are good options if you don’t happen to have a greenhouse at your disposal.
Other notable characteristics
There are a few forms of this plant. A larger D. scorpioides has beautiful white flowers and grows very quickly to sizes of up to two inches (5 cm) in diameter, but is not long for this world (most varieties only live for one to two years). A smaller form of D. scorpioides has darker pink flowers and have been known to survive for more than seven years atop stems 6 to 7 inches (15-18 cm) tall – the ancient shaggy Big Foot of pygmy sundews.
The flowers are approximately 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) in diameter and crop up between August and October months.
Other Sundew varieties, species & hybrids
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.
Drosera adelae is one queen from Queensland that can be a crown jewel in any collection. It's quick to grow, quick to self-propagate, and produces dew like it's going out of style.
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.
"The giant sundew," indeed! This erect perennial tuberous sundew is one of the largest 'dews around, growing up to 3 feet (0.9 m) in height and branching like a carnivorous tree. Neat.
A titan among tots, D. scorpioides is commonly known as the shaggy sundew and hails from Australia. Even the darn pygmy plants want to kill you in Australia...
With 2 foot (0.6 m) leaves the King Sundew, Drosera regia, has earned its grandiose name. It is an archaic species and one of the oldest to survive to modern times.
known as the spoon-leaved sundew because of its' wee spoon-shaped leaves. The Latin name literally translates to "spatula shaped." One may look like teaspoons, another soup spoons... you get the idea.
Drosera capensis ‘Narrow Leaf’
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 [...]
Drosera binata var. dichotoma ‘Giant’
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!
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Drosera capensis ‘Wide Leaf’
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.