About CPs
The Genus Drosera
Drosera menziesii
Drosera menziesii subsp. menziesii in Western Australia.
Drosera capillaris
Drosera capillaris , Texas, USA.
Drosera regia
Drosera regia with prey.

Sundews are sticky flypaper plants. They bear long tentacles on their leaves, and these stalks are tipped with glands which are often brightly coloured. The glands exude attractive nectar, adhesive compounds, and digestive enzymes. Insects that land on the leaves stick fast and are digested. Often nearby glandular tentacles are stimulated and also adhere to the insect, and on many species the entire leaf coils around the prey. These motions are usually slow, taking minutes or hours to occur. An often overlooked aspect of tentacle motion is the fact that a tentacle can bend in just about any direction. But when a bug is caught on a leaf, all the tentacles know the direction to bend towards. That's pretty cool. Scientists wonder how it is done.

In some species, (for example D. burmannii), the tentacle motion is faster--some of the glands can bend 180° in just tens of seconds. Meanwhile, the tentacles of the "snap-trap" D. glanduligera move so fast they essentially fling prey into the trap center!

There are more than 180 Drosera species described and they are found in terrestrial habitats on every continent except Antarctica. The diversity of forms in this genus is amazing. Some tropical forms grow year-round, while others die back to fleshy roots (some even hide in little potato-like corms during the dry season). Species from cold, snowy habitats often spend the winter solstice season curled up in densely packed buds called hibernacula. Some species are tall, erect or viney plants, others are ground-hugging rosettes.

Read more about Drosera at the ICPS sarracenia.com FAQ

-- Barry Rice

Drosera information on the ICPS carnivorousplants.org web site:

Registered Cultivar Names
Seed Bank: Growing subtropical Drosera
Seed Bank: Growing pygmy Drosera
Seed Bank: Growing tuberous Drosera
How To: Drosera Leaf Cuttings

Drosera information in the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter:

Chandler, Graeme (1978) The Uptake of Digestion Products by Drosera. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 7(1):11-13 ( Part 1 )

Chandler, Graeme (1978) The Uptake of Digestion Products by Drosera. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 7(2):51-54 ( Part 2 )

Nolan, Garry (1978) On the Foraging Strategies of Carnivorous Plants: II. Biological Stimulus versus Mechanical Stimulus in the Fast-Moving Periphery Tentacles of the Species Drosera burmanni. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 7(3):79-81 ( )

Haberlandt, Gottlieb (from Sinnesorgane Im Pflanzenreich, Trans. By Carla R. Powell) (1982) Insectivores: Drosera and Drosophyllum. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 11(3):66-73 ( )

Degreef, John D. (1989) Early history Drosera and Drosophyllum. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 18(3):86-89 ( )

Degreef, John D. (1989) The Droseraceae during the glaciations. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 18(2):45-46, 52-54 ( )

Lowrie, Allen (1990) The Drosera petiolaris complex. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 19(3-4):65-72 ( )

Lowrie, Allen (1991) A field trip to Darwin. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 20(4):114-123 ( )

Search the CPN Index and Archive for over 390 articles about Drosera.

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