Drosera esterhuyseniae gets its name from the Greek word drosos, meaning dew, while the second part of its name honors Elsie Elizabeth Esterhuysen (1912-2006), a famous South African botanist.
According to the type description, Drosera esterhuyseniae is known from the Cape Province, the mountains around Hermanus as well as the area of Caledon.
Drosera esterhuyseniae is a small rosette forming plant. The newest leafs are growing upright in an angle of about 45°. This species is growing in seasonal dry habitats. During the summer, the plants can die back and if this happens, they recover from their thick roots in autumn when the rain comes back.
Drosera esterhuyseniae is one of the less known Drosera. It’s natural distribution is restricted to only a very few places. Even at the known locations, the plants are not common. In the past it has often been confused with other species. It has been first described in 1944 by Salter as Drosera curviscapa ssp. esterhuyseniae and has been given species rank by Debbert in 1991.
The plant has entered specialists collections only a few years ago. It is still one of the rarer Drosera, even in cultivation. One of the reason for that might be that cultivation of this plant is not always easy.
Culvation of this plant can be challenging, especially during the summer. Large, deep pots and watering only from above helps to keep the moisture in the soil right. The plants tend to die back in summer, but this is not necessarily the case. As substrat a mixture of sand (about 60:40/70:30) is a good choice.
It is of paramount importance that all lineages of D. esterhuyseniae are retained in cultivation and propagated to preserve the genetic variation of this species. If you grow distinct, known location strains of D. esterhuyseniae that are not in the Rare South African carnivorous plants Collection, and are willing to donate or sell plants, cuttings or seeds of legally cultivated plants to Ark of Life, please contact the Rare South African carnivorous plants Collection team through this contact page of this website.
If you cultivate D. esterhuyseniae, but are unable to contribute material to the Rare South African carnivorous plants Collection, however would still like to help save this species, please register your plants with Ark of Life, so that we can develop a breeding program and record all different location forms of this endangered plant in cultivation.