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Drosera Kenneallyi Information

Drosera kenneallyi A. Lowrie

Nuytsia 10: 419-423 (1996)

A tropical fibrous-rooted perennial plant with a flat basal rosette of reddish-bronze leaves about 6 cm diam. at anthesis, later increasing in size, the leaves deciduous in the dry season when the plant retreats below the soil surface to its bulb-like structure for dormancy.

Leaf – lamina transversely broadly elliptic to very broadly ovate, 4-6 mm long, 5.5-7 mm wide, with retentive glands around margins of lamina and smaller glands within, the lower surface with very sparse non-glandular white, simple hairs; petiole narrowly oblanceolate, 15-30 mm long, 0.9-1 mm wide near base, dilated to 1.5-2.2 mm wide near centre, then narrowing to 0.7-1 mm wide at lamina, the upper surface glabrous, lower surface with very sparse white, simple hairs.

Inflorescence |—3, racemose, 12.5-20.5 cm long, 10-20-flowered; pedicels 3—12 mm long, horizontal and semi-erect in fruit; scape with sparse short, white hairs; inflorescence with a slightly denser covering of similar hairs.

Sepals – obovate, 2-3 mm long, |—1.7 mm wide, surface and margins covered with white, simple hairs that bear a few short spurs.

Petals – white, obovate, with a strong mid-vein, 5.5-6.5 mm long, 3-4 mm wide.

Stamens – 5, 2—3.5 mm long; filaments white; anthers yellow; pollenDrosera kenneallyi orange.

Ovary – turbinate, 0.7—1 mm long, !—1.4 mm diam., each carpel bilobed.

Styles – 3 or 4 , white, 1.5-2.5 mm long, each 0.3-0.5 mm long, then forked and repeatedly branched into segments, the whole style including the branching segments flattened; stigmas terminal.

FLOWERING: November—December. Dormancy dry.

Habitat: Grows in brown fine sandy loam which is soft when moist but hard whendry.

Location: W.A.—near Airfield Swamp on the Mitchell Plateau, Kimberley.

The closest relative to Drosera kenneallyi is D. falconeri Kondo & Tsang, as both
species flower early, produce an almost glabrous, solitary, rosette of leaves with a large lamina appressed to the soil surface, have bulb-like structures that are the accumulation of the persistent fleshy leaf bases just below the soil surface, and deciduous leaves in dormancy. The bulb-like structure of both species is not densely covered with woolly hairs to prevent desiccation as is commonly found in all other named species within the D. petiolaris complex. D. falconeri and D. kenneallyi simply rely on the compacted soil, which is concrete-like when dry, around the dormant bulb as the only insulation protection from desiccation during the dry season.

Drosera kenneallyi, a Mitchell Plateau endemic of northern Western Australia, is distinguished from D. falconeri in having a broadly transverse-elliptic to very broadly ovate leaf lamina 5.5-7 mm wide, whereas D. falconeri (endemic in the Northern Territory) has a reniform lamina c. 20 mm wide. 

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