Plants are 4 to 8 cm in diameter, with broadly spathulate leaves arranged in a rosette. These may be green, orange-yellow or red in colour and are 10 to 15 mm long and 9 to 13 mm wide. Up to 20 white flowers are produced overall, with multiple flowers open at any one time. The main flowering period is May to November in its native range, but flowers may appear throughout the year.
The species was formally described by Jules Émile Planchon in Annales des Sciences Naturelles in 1848 as Drosera "Whittakerii". The species was named after Derbyshire botanist Joseph Whittaker who collected some 300 plant specimens from Adelaide and the southern Mount Lofty Ranges to Encounter Bay between 1839–1840.:163 Two subspecies are recognised by some authorities:
- Drosera whittakeri subsp. aberrans Lowrie & Carlquist
- Drosera whittakeri Planch. subsp. whittakeri
In 2008, Allen Lowrie and John G. Conran elevated the former to species status, as Drosera aberrans. The authors also argue that Drosera praefolia should be considered a distinct species, rather than a synonym of D. whittakeri.
- Lowrie, A. & J.G. Conran 2008. "A review of Drosera whittakeri s. lat. (Droseraceae) and description of a new species from Kangaroo Island, South Australia." (PDF).[permanent dead link] Telopea 12(2): 147–165.
- "Drosera whittakeri Planch.". Electronic Flora of South Australia Fact Sheet. State Herbarium of South Australia.
- "Drosera whittakeri". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
Media related to Drosera whittakeri at Wikimedia Commons