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Byblis gigantea

Byblis gigantea (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Byblidaceae
Genus: Byblis
Species: Byblis gigantea

Byblis gigantea Lindl., 1839

Byblis lindleyana Planch.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
Australia (Western Australia)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Lindley, J., 1839. Sketch Veg. Swan R. xxi.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Byblis gigantea in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Jul. 14. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Byblis gigantea. Published online. Accessed: Jul 14 2019.
The Plant List 2013. Byblis gigantea in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Jul 14. 2019. Byblis gigantea. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 14 Jul 2019.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Byblis gigantea in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.
IUCN: Byblis gigantea Lindl. (Critically Endangered)

Vernacular names
suomi: Isokihoruoho
русский: Библис гигантский

Byblis gigantea, commonly known as rainbow plant,[2] is a carnivorous species of plant[3] in the Byblidaceae family. It is endemic to Australia.


The small perennial herb or sub-shrub has many branches and typically grows to a height of 0.45 metres (1.5 ft) in height.[2] It is a tall leafy plant with the leaf bases closely spaced. It has deep, woody perennial rootstock that the plant is able to resprout from the rhizomes after fire.[4] It blooms between September and January producing pink-purple and white flowers.[2] It has three nerved sepals and forms an obtuse subglobose shaped capsule with many faint nerves. The seeds have highly corrugated and ribbed sculptured plates. Seeds have a length of 0.6 to 1.5 millimetres (0.024 to 0.059 in) and a width of 0.6 to 1.0 mm (0.024 to 0.039 in) with shallow transverse ridges.[4]

The species was first formally described by the botanist John Lindley in 1839 as part of the work A Sketch of the Vegetation of the Swan River Colony. The only known synonym is Byblis lindleyana as described by Jules Émile Planchon in 1848.[5]

The type specimen was collected by James Drummond in 1839 from around the Swan River. The specific epithet is taken from the Latin word giganteus meaning giant referring to the larger size of this species compared to Byblis liniflora.

B. gigantea is closely related to Byblis lamellata but they have different seed morphology.[4]

It has a scattered distribution from the Wheatbelt region around Dandaragan in the north down through the suburbs of Perth, Western Australia on the Swan Coastal Plain and into the Darling Range then south as far as Boddington in the Peel region. The plant is often found in and around swamps and seasonally wet areas growing in sandy peaty soils[2] and is usually part of low Leptospermum and Restionaceae dominated shrubland communities.[4]
Conservation status

The species was listed a Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list in 2000.[1]

In 2002 the species was listed as a "Priority Two" flora, mostly as a result of it being absent over much of its former range due to urban expansion throughout the Perth metropolitan area.[4]

B. gigantea prefers drier conditions than most sundews. It grows well in large pots containing a very sandy soil mix and is top-watered only. These plants are prone to fungal death until they become established. To germinate the seeds for this plant gibberellic acid treatment or pot fire treatment may be required. The age of the seeds is not important, seeds over 22 years of age have germinated after fire treatment.[3]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Byblis gigantea.

Cross, A. (2020). "Byblis gigantea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T39632A100035615. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-1.RLTS.T39632A100035615.en. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
"Byblis gigantea". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Barry Rice (2018). "Byblis: cultivation". The Carnivorous Plant FAQ. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
John Conran; Allen Lowrie; Jessica Moyle-Croft (2002). "A revision of Byblis (Byblidaceae) in south-western Australia" (PDF). Nuytsia. Department of Parks and Wildlife.
"Byblis gigantea Lindl". Atlas of Living Australia. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 16 October 2018.

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