Sundew

Interesting though they are (see the downward-facing hairs, to keep insects from crawling out and escaping?), the pitchers aren’t the only carnivorous plant in our bog. To spot the other one, though, you’ll practically have to rub your nose against the sphagnum.

This is sundew, its odd, round leaves surrounded by sticky-tipped hairs. (The fact that the sticky glands look like water droplets gives the plant its name.) The secretions are sweet and tempting, but when an insect makes the mistake of landing here, it’s trapped and the leaf curls around it and digests it.

I’ve never witnessed this plant eat. Maybe sometime I’ll catch an insect to feed to it. It would have to be a very small insect, though.

Because I promise I have a normal-sized thumb, and as you can see, this is a very, very small plant.

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9 thoughts on “Sundew”

  1. Beautiful! Thanks for posting. I came across a kitten in the woods last summer and had to take her in. She had been left along the Bartram trail at Warwoman Dell. She told me her name was Sundew. I had never heard this word before. Googling it, I found out about this plant, but never saw one or knew much about it. She is a petite cat, actually, and she loves to eat bugs (and other things) – so the name fits, I guess!

  2. I once had a sundew to go with my other carnivorous plants, but I couldn’t keep it alive. I’m not sure our climate here works for them.

    Nice to find some wild ones though! Mine are in pots.

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