Drosera madagascariensis is a favourite of ours and is really easy in our experience. The plant forms a clearly visible stem, which stands upright in the case of younger plants and in nature, either uses its leaves to anchor itself to surrounding vegetation as it matures or bends over and forms a scrambling stem. The plant grows to a height of 25 cm (10 in) in nature, though typically in cultivation they are much smaller, rarely exceeding half that size before dying down for winter, unless given it's favoured (tropical) conditions year-round. The upper part of the plant is composed of carnivorous leaves while the lower part of the stem is covered with the dried remains of older leaves.
Native to tropical Africa as far south as South Africa and east to the island of Madagascar, though typically classified as a sub-tropical species. We have found this to be a really easy subject, however, and cultivate it year-round in unheated glasshouses. Although we have yet to trial it outside in the U.K., there are reports from others that it has survived when grown as such and in our experience it does seem very tolerant of cold, surviving temperatures of minus 9 degrees Celsius. Unless grown in tropical conditions, it will lose all foliage in the autumn and disappear, so to speak, only to sprout again from the roots when warmer weather is prevalent - this can also result in numerous growth points appearing, allowing small clumps to form in due course.
Arranged in a rosette, the leaf-blades are spoon shaped, and attached to the leaf stalks in the manner they are, portray the appearance of an arrangement of 'oars' or paddles. Given sufficient sun, the foliage develops a reddish hue and will subsequently turn completely red as it ages.
The small, pink flowers are borne on a short stem that arises from the top of the rosette.
Best grown under glass, however a well ventilated coldframe or cold greenhouse is also acceptable. If grown under glass, keep just damp during the winter and only increase watering considerably once again in full growth. If grown as a tropical subject, the plant can be kept standing in soft water all-year-round provided light conditions are adequately supplemented and ventilation is present; otherwise, keep just damp.
Mature plants, supplied potted in a 7cm square pot, with a full-colour printed identification label, which includes basic cultural details.
Accompanying images will be added shortly.
Page last updated: 04/07/19