Drosera androsacea, the Cone Sundew is a pygmy Drosera
endemic from Western Australia.
This perrenial is forming flat open rosettes, up to 8 mm
in diameter. The flowers are white or pink, with purplish
veins. It flowers in September and October.
It 's an insectivorous plant, it can survive in nitrogen
poor soils because it gets the nutrients it needs from
insects. The upper surfaces of leaves are covered with
hairs that secrete a sweet sticky substance. This
attracts insects, which become smeared with it and unable
to escape. The plant then exudes a digestive fluid that
enables it to absorb most of the insect into its system.
Another startling feature of the Pygmy Sundews are their
size. Normally the plants grow to a maximum diameter of
half an inch. Although some people are put off by their
size, their beauty lie in numbers. Because of the gemmae,
the plants quickly cover the growing area, forming dense
mats of red-green leaves. The leaves, curl around any
captured prey like a fist.
Pygmy Sundews differ from the rest of their species,
because of their ability to form gemmae. These are flat,
round bodies which form in the center of the plant. They
are basically seed, although they don't need to be
pollinated. The germination rate is far higher than that
of seed. Also gemmae grow into mature plants very quickly.
Because of the plants producing lots of gemmae, these
plants are very easy to grow and propagate. When the
plants are forming gemmae, brush the gemmae off with a
soft paintbrush onto a paper towel. Even if you don't
want any new plants it is best to do this, because if you
don't your plants will become over crowded and become and
easy target for pests.
Hardiness zones 8-10, (-10°C/15°F, 1°C/35°F) in
Winter. The plants should have hot and dry Summers and
cool and wet Winters. They should be grown in bright
light, but with protection from full midday sun.
Temperatures should be kept between 20°C/68°F, 25°C /
80°F. In cloudy coastal areas, artificial light is a
Drosera androsacea grows in stony, sandy loam or clayey
soils, in the middle of brush-wood. Drosera androsacea
have very long roots and grow best in pots 15-20 cm deep.
Use a standard peat moss/sand which can be anything from
30% to 100% peat moss. There's no need to fertilize, as
the plant relies on insects for food.
Requires consistently moist soil in Winter; do not let
dry out between waterings. During Summer the plant
becomes dormant and should be given just enough water to
keep the lower half of the pot damp while the top half is
kept dry. Water must be distilled or rain water because
they do not tolerate city or hard water.