Did You Know

Sundew eating

Sundews (Droseras) grow in soil that’s very poor in nitrogen and other minerals. So they have to supplement their diets with protein from insects – in other words, they are carnivorous plants. The name “sundew” is derived from the sticky gel on the plant’s tentacles that glistens in the sunlight. Insects are attracted by the sweetness of the sticky gel where they are trapped. The leaves then curl over the insect to prevent any escape. The tentacles exude enzymes that digest the insect and the juices are absorbed by the leaves. The flowers of sundews range from white, to pink, to brilliant red. The long flower stems hold the flowers above the leaves so that the pollinators attracted to the flowers will not get trapped on the sticky leaves.

Watch the sundew (Drosera capensis) eating