International Carnivorous Plant Society

Carnivorous Plant Newsletter Archive

 

Splash-cups, springboards, and sink or swim – Preliminary study of the strategies for vegetative propagule dispersal in Pygmy Drosera

Greg Bourke

Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 50(2):52-59
Published June 2021

Download PDF

Abstract

The Drosera of the subgenus Bryastrum, commonly referred to as pygmy sundews are unique to the genus in that all bar one produce vegetative clonal propagules known as gemmae. These gemmae are thought to be dispersed via a novel adaptation known as a splash-cup, but little is known about its effectiveness or other strategies employed by the plants. In this preliminary study, the splash-cup was tested and its effectiveness measured. The role of the stipules, which form the

walls of the splash-cup were also examined along with other features of the plants’ architecture. The splash-cup was found to play a critical role in gemmae dispersal while the theory that the stipules perform as spring-loaded catapults was unsupported. Additionally, gemmae were found to either sink or float depending on the taxon. Observational evidence is provided which suggests the structure of a gemma plays a significant role in the success of each taxon in its preferred habitat.

Keywords: Droseraceae, carnivorous plants, Drosera section Bryastrum, pygmy sundews, dispersal, Australian flora

Article Citation

Greg Bourke. 2021. Splash-cups, springboards, and sink or swim – Preliminary study of the strategies for vegetative propagule dispersal in Pygmy Drosera. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 50(2):52-59.

Page views: 48

 

©International Carnivorous Plant Society      
www.carnivorousplants.org

This page is maintained by John Brittnacher.
Please contact us at our membership website, icps.clubexpress.com.