Beware. The carnivorous plants are back.

With the drop in temperature and increased rainfall comes the appearance on the forest floor of a carnivorous plant known as the Scented Sundew (Drosera whittakerii), from the Greek word drosos meaning dewdrops, pictured below. Though not as sexy as the well-known Flytraps, which catch their prey by snapping shut their leaves, the way in which sundews capture their food is equally interesting.DSCN2149

Each leaf of the sundew sprouts a number of tentacles that exude sweet liquid, which attracts insects. When the insects touch this sticky liquid they become trapped and eventually die either of exhaustion in trying to escape, or asphyxiation as the sticky goo covers them. Enzymes are then released to dissolve the insects and the plant absorbs the nutrients. The picture (below) shows a mosquito trapped in the sticky tentacles and in all the photos the black debris seen on the leaves are the remains of digested insects.DSCN2154

The Scented Sundew flowers in July to September (pictured below). These sundews won’t dissolve your leg, should you stand on one, unless you’re a mosquito.drosera whittakeri_IMG_5707

One comment

  1. Great photos Ron. Winter is a time we associate with a change, slow down, dormancy, waiting for Spring, if we open our eyes we can see many beautiful things taking advantage of the shorter days, the limited light, the frost and the fog. Thanks for revealing this one to us.

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