Drosera ramentacea gets its name from the Greek word drosos, meaning dew, while the second part of its name is from the Latin racemosa and refers to having a stalked flower.
D. ramentacea is a winter growing summer dormant perennial plant, found in the Fynbos of the Western Cape Province. Here it is a rare plant, growing as single plants or small groups in the shade of shrubs and rocks.
The soil is rather dry and very sandy peat over sandstone.
The plant produces long taproots that are among the longest in the genus and that it uses to survive the dry season. It does not die back completely in summer but forms a dense, hairy resting bud.
The plant produces large stems, up to 1 meter tall when supported by surrounding vegetation, though most plants are smaller.
The leaves consist of a tick and flattened petiole of about 5 cm long, while the lamina are narrow lanceolate and 4 cm long by 8mm wide. Leaves are placed overlapping like roof tiles.
The flowerscape grows from leaf axis near the top of the plant and is often forked. It’s up to 25 cm long and carries up to 30 flowers.
Cultivation is not easy. The plant requires a deep pot as the large taproot will soon outgrow most pots with a 60/40 mix of sand and peat. It should be kept damp but not wet year round.
The fact that this species is rare to begin with accounts for its threatened status.
Conservation is greatly hindered by the incorrect use of the name Drosera ramentacea by the pharmaceutical industry for plants they use and are in fact the far more common Drosera madagascariensis. Protection efforts meet a powerful lobby for no other reason than the unwillingness to change the incorrect name used by the industry on lists of ingredients, patents, etc.
It is of paramount importance that all lineages of D. ramentacea are retained in cultivation and propagated to preserve the genetic variation of this species. If you grow distinct strains of know origin of D. ramentacea 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 team through the contact page of this website.
If you cultivate D. ramentacea, 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.