Information About the Sundew Plant

Overview

It may look like it is from another planet, but the sundew plant is found all over the world. Known by its Latin name, Drosera, the sundew plant has approximately 130 species. While very beautiful to look at, this plant is deadly to insects around it.

A Carnivorous Plant

The sundew plant is carnivorous, and has a gel-like substance on the ends of its tentacles. This gel-like substance is sticky and is used to trap the insects it devours. The substance makes the plant look like it perpetually has dew on it.

Found the World Over

The plants live in spagnum moss bogs on every continent in the world. This is unusual as most carnivorous plants are found in only a few regions due to the climate they must live in.

Plant Food

The plant ensnares small insects like gnats, mosquitoes and fruit flies. Many people shy away from raising the plants because they are unsure what to feed them, when in truth, the plants have no trouble finding their own food. Special feeding is unnecessary.

Cultivation

Sundew plants may be cultivated indoors, though many species grow wild outdoors in warm regions. There are large species that grow to a foot or more tall, and pygmy varieties that can be grown in small indoor containers, such as a brandy snifter.

Growing a Sundew Plant

Sundews should be grown in direct or slightly filtered sunlight, and should be kept moist at all times using only rain water or distilled water. The plants thrive well at 70 to 100 degrees, and should not be kept at temperatures below 35 to 43 degrees.

How Does the Sundew Digest an Insect?

To digest an insect, the sundew plant captures it on its hairs, which are covered with digestive juices that kill the insect. The plant has special organs that digest the insects' bodies which provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to survive.

References

  • About the Carnivorous Sundew
  • Sundew
  • Dorosera - Sundews

Who Can Help

  • How to Grow Sundew Plants
Keywords: Sundew plants, Dorosera, Carnivorous plants

About this Author

Robin Devereaux has been writing professionally for more than 25 years. She is a graduate of the Central Michigan University Arts Program, and has written for The Sowell Review, Health and Healing Magazine and has been a contributor on several local Eastern Michigan publications.