About South African carnivorous plants
After the immediate success of the first Ark of Life, The Rare Nepenthes Collection, it was time to think about the next ark to be set afloat.
The choice for several carnivorous plants from South Africa was an easy one.
The southern part of South Africa has a very unique flora; actually it is a separate floral kingdom on its own. Many species of plant occur only here and are not closely related to other species.
Still, for a long time all these plants were doing just fine, moving to the rhythm of seasons and fires.
However, today South Africa is one of the more modern countries on the African continent, and with that comes the expansion of agriculture, towns and roads.
As most species occur in very restricted areas every new neighborhood or turn off has the potential to wipe out a substantial part, if not all, of a population. Add to that expanding cultivation areas that not only actually compete for growing space but also compete for water and the final nail in the coffin, the repression of naturally occurring fires to protect said agricultural land and houses, and you have a rather bleak image of the future of too many species.
All this makes the choice for an African Ark a logical and necessary one.
About the Rare South African carnivorous plants collection
The Rare South African carnivorous plants collection is based at Hewitt-Cooper Carnivorous Plants in Somerset, The UK under the Care of Nigel Hewitt-Cooper.
The nursery was established in 1997 by long time carnivorous plant enthusiast and grower Nigel Hewitt-Cooper. Originally based in Surrey, the nursery was moved to its present location in Somerset in 2004.
HC-carnivorous plants regularly displays at important garden shows all over the UK and saw its dedication to quality and detail reward with several prices, including the prestigious gold medal at the Chelsea Flower show in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
They are also a national collection holder for the genus Drosera.
All this makes them an excellent choice to house this important collection.
For more information, please visit the nursery’s website: www.hccarnivorousplants.co.uk
Accessions in this Ark
The initial aim is the protection by placing them in the African Ark of the following species:
- Drosera capensis
- Drosera cistiflora
- Drosera cuneifolia
- Drosera coccipetala
- Drosera ericgreenii
- Drosera esterhuyseniae
- Drosera glabripes
- Drosera hilaris
- Drosera pauciflora
- Drosera ramentacea*
- Drosera regia
- Drosera slackii
- Drosera zeyheri
- Roridula dentata
- Roridula gorgonias
Drosera ramentacea*: This is the true species, not the improperly used name for the commonly occurring Drosera madagascariensis that the pharmaceutical industry uses.
More species may be added as their conservation status becomes clearer.
To the growers of carnivorous plants especially Drosera capensis might look like a strange addition as it is a commonly grown species and even a weed in most collections. Fact is however that most of these plants can be traced back to a limited number of plants, propagated by tissue culture. The situation in the wild is different and on top of that the species appear to be very variable and might at one point have to be divided in (sub)species.