Drosera rotundifolia - Round-leaved Sundew

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Caryophyllales - Family: Droseraceae

Round-leaved Sundew

This insectivorous plant has a thick coating of red hairs on the upper surface of its leaves. Each hair is tipped with a drop of sticky liquid that has the ability to trap small insects, upon which the plant feeds. Round-leaved Sundew's name originates from these droplets of water that many thought to be dew rather than a substance produced by the plant itself. Once trapped and stuck fast the insect is enfolded in the leaf and, over a period of a couple of days, a further secretion from the centre of the leaves reduces the insect to a form that can be absorbed by the plant as food.

A closeup of the sticky leaves of Sundew

Leaves of Sundew, showing the sticky liquid on the leaf-spikes

Sundew is a low-growing plant and has very small white flowers on a long stem. It is mainly found in bogs and on wet moorland, as it prefers the kind of acid soils that are found in such places. The plant is found throughout the UK, Ireland and in many European countries including Slovenia.

This specimen was photographed in Wales in late June.


Volume 1

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