Byblis lilifolia 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. The structure of the flower does resemble that of the of the Bladderworts and Butterworts. Byblis lilifolia grows naturally as an annual, but can be kept as a biennial if grown in constantly moist soils. It grows easily up to 12-15 inches, but then can't support it's vertical weight and topples over.
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, and seed is produced generously without intervention. Byblis liniflora can be self-pollinated. The flowers are pink. Occasionally, the plants survive the Winter and continue growing in Spring.
After Byblis liniflora 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 atop 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, (4øC/40øF) in Winter. The Byblis experiences dry Summer dormancy, but this is not necessary in cultivation. It grows normally in the wet season, and comes back from seeds the next. Best grown under indirect or artifical light. The Rainbow plant does best 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 the easiest plant of these to grow because its seeds germinate and grow in any medium without any special treatment. Use a 50/50 sand/peat moss mix 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. Use the tray method for watering, allow all the water to evaporate from the tray before replenishing.