Common name: Sundew
Latin name: Drosera sp.
Light: Medium to full sun
Notes: Sundews are characterised by the glandular tentacles, topped with sticky secretions, that cover their leaves. Small prey, mainly insects, are attracted by the sweet secretions of the peduncular glands. Upon touching these, the prey become entrapped by sticky mucilage which prevents their progress or escape.
The flowers of sundews, as with nearly all carnivorous plants, are held far above the leaves by a long stem. The root systems of most Drosera are often only weakly developed. Serving mainly to absorb water and to anchor the plant to the ground, the roots are relatively useless for nutrient uptake.
Sundews generally grow in seasonally moist or more rarely constantly wet habitats with acidic soils and high levels of sunlight. Common habitats include bogs, fens, swamps and marshes. Many of those areas species grow in association with sphagnum moss, which absorbs much of the soil’s nutrient supply and also acidifies the soil, making nutrients less available to plant life. This allows sundews, which do not rely on soil-bound nutrients, to flourish where more dominating vegetation would usually outcompete them.
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