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Plant of the Month
December 2023


Drosera nitidula Planch.


Drosera nitidula (Shining Sundew) is a diminutive, carnivorous herb growing to around 20 mm high and 10 mm wide. It features a compact basal rosette of leaves that may glisten a bright orange due to their dense, glandular hairs. The flowers, which appear from November to January, comprise white petals and 3–4 white filaments, red/maroon styles, five bright red anthers and yellow/orange pollen. The epithet nitidula (Latin for shining or bright) is an appropriate one as it refers to the shiny petal surfaces.

Dosera nitidula is one of a large group of perennial species that are commonly referred to as the Pygmy Droseras. The group is almost entirely restricted to Western Australia and characterised by the presence of a tight, central bud of overlapping silvery stipules. During the height of summer, the plants become dormant and the stipule bud is the only above-ground part of the plant remaining alive. When sufficient moisture returns during the autumn months new leaves are produced once again from the tips of the stipule buds.

Shining Sundew mostly occurs in the Perth region, with isolated occurrences further south and in the Esperance area. It grows in peaty sand or loam, which is inundated in winter.

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, perchance, check this little beauty out if you can spot it.

Photo: S. Coffey

Find out more about Drosera nitidula Planch.