Plants of
South Australia
Drosera gracilis
Shield Sundew
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.


Drosera from the Greek 'droseros' meaning dewy, alluding to the glistening hairs of the glandular leaf laminae. Gracilis from Latin meaning slender.

Distribution and status

Found in a few locations on the Fleuriea Peninsula and lower South-east in South Australia, growing in seasonally wet and swampy areas. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales and Victoria. Common in Tasmania.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect perennial herb; rhizome erect, arising from a globose tuber. Leaves, stems and tubers red. Rosette leaves soil-appressed; leaves 3–5 mm in diameter, semi-orbicular-lunate. Inflorescence slender, solitary, unbranched, frequently leafless in the upper half; scape ending in a terminal raceme with 2–5-flowers. Sepals black, to 3.5 mm long, narrow elliptical, hairy. Petals pink or white, to 4.5 mm long, obovate. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are brown globose capsule to 5 mm diameter; erect, enclosed in persistent sepals.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature capsules, those that are fat, hard, turning brown and contain black seeds inside. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.