January 10, 2014

0958 AUSTRALIA (Western Australia) - Drosera lowriei



As is well known, Australia is full of endemic species of plants and animals, because of the continent's long geographic isolation, tectonic stability, and the effects of an unusual pattern of climate change. One of these species of plants is Drosera lowriei (in the maxicard), formally described for the first time by N. G. Marchant in 1992, and named in honour of Allen Lowrie. Is a perennial tuberous species, endemic to Western Australia, and grows in a rosette about 3-4 cm in diameter (typical form) or 5-7 cm (giant form), in loam soils in wet zones near granite outcrops. It produces white flowers that may be 5, 6 or 7-petalled, but usually 5. It's an insectivorous plant, so it can survive in nitrogen poor soils, because it gets the nutrients it needs from insects. The upper surfaces of leaves are covered with hairs that secrete a sweet sticky substance. This attracts insects, which become smeared with it and unable to escape. The plant then exudes a digestive fluid that enables it to absorb most of the insect into its system.

About the stamps
There are more than 670 species of carnivorous plants found across the world and more than 200 species in Australia, of which more than half are endemic, or native. Australia Post issued on August 13, 2013, a series of stamps (but also of maxicards), having as theme the carnivorous plants, designed by Jo Muré, and based on photographs by Greg Bourke, renowned Australian carnivorous plant expert. The series contains four stamps (all with the same face value, 60c), depicting not only carnivorous plants, but also their mainly prey:
Cephalotus follicularis - ants
Drosera rupicola - flies
Drosera lowriei - butterflies - it's on the postcard
Nepenthes rowanae - frogs

The sender has used an additional stamp, belonging to the series Pardalotes, issued on May 11, 2013. 
• Forty-spotted Pardalote / Pardalotus quadragintus (60c) - it's on the postcard
• Spotted Pardalote / Pardalotus punctatus (1.20 AUD)
• Red-browed Pardalote / Pardalotus rubricatus (1.80 AUD)
• Striated Pardalote / Pardalotus striatus (3.00 AUD)

References
Drosera lowriei - Wikipedia
Drosera Lowriei Seeds (Tuberous) - Rare exotic seeds
Unique plants on stamps - Australia Post official website

sender: ??? / sengali (postcrossing)
sent from Melbourne (Victoria / Australia), on 29.12.2013
photo: Greg Bourke

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