Byblis filifolia is widely distributed through the
Kimberley region of Western Australia and extending into
the Northern Territory. Recent DNA testing indicates that
the Byblis' closest relatives are Butterworts, Pinguicula.
The structure of the flower does resemble that of the of
the Bladderworts and Butterworts. Byblis filifolia grows
naturally as an annual, but can be kept as a biennial if
grown in constantly moist soils. It grows easily up to 40
cm. It also has a more
woody stem then Byblis liniflora, which usually has no
problem supporting the plant's weight.
Glittering and often delicate,
Byblis, the Rainbow Plants, can sometime appear as
frosted sprays of water, and in sunlight can sparkle with
multicolored hues. Since the plants grow as annuals, they
must flower the same year that they germinate in order to
produce sufficient seeds for the next year. The first
flowers appear when the plant is just a few months old.
Byblis filifolia does self-pollinate. Flowers are violet.
Occasionally, the plants survive the Winter and continue
growing in Spring.
After Byblis filifolia matures, it should not be repotted
because it has a sensitive root system, which won't
regrow if damaged. Only the young plantlets, 1-2 cm may
be transplanted, very carefully before their roots
establish themselves securely in the planting medium.
When transplanting, remove a ball of soil with the roots.
Insects are attracted to the dew of the Byblis The nectar
is secreted by hundreds of glands that sit on top of the
long tentacles of the fine, linear leaf. These leaves
branch out from the main stem in all directions. When the
insect lands on the plant, it becomes glued tight by this
sticky substance. Eventually the insect dies from
exhaustion and suffocation. The leaves of the Byblis do
not have the gift of movement so they do not curl around
their prey as some Drosera are known to do. When the
insects succumb and cease to struggle, a second gland,
that lie flat along the leaf, come into play. These
sessile glands begin to secret a digestive juice that
dissolves the soft parts of the insect.
Hardiness zone 11, (4°C/40°F) in Winter. The Byblis
experiences dry Summer dormancy, but this is not
necessary in cultivation. Best grown under indirect or
artifical light. The Rainbow plant does best in
tropical climates, but its annual nature allows you to
grow it during any span of several months of warm weather.
This is certainly one of the easiest plant to grow
because its seeds germinate and grow in any medium
without any special treatment. Use a 50/50 sand/peat moss
mix or two parts sand for one part peat moss, in a deep
pot because the plants live longer, in smaller pots they
tend to be annuals. In big pots they also branch more to
make a bushy plant, especially if just a few plants are
grown in a pot. Keep the soil damp but not permanently
waterlogged. You can use the tray method for watering,
allow all the water to evaporate from the tray before
replenishing. Water with rain water or distilled water,
city hard water will kill your carnivorous plant. Do not