Sundew

The Sundew plant Drosera Rotundifolia feeds on insects that have been attracted to the glistening drops of mucilage on its spiney red leaves. The droplets covering the leaves are loaded with a sugary substance however the stickiness is overwhelming for the small insects it attracts. Enzymes dissolve the insects in situ and nutrients are obsorbed into the foliage.

Sundew have developed their carnivorous behaviour to substitute for the lack of nutrients of their chosen environment, namely damp acidic soil, marshes and blanket bogs. The insects provide the necessary nitrogen and other nutrients missing from such soils.

Sundew - Drosera Rotundifolia

Sundew – Drosera Rotundifolia

This example was found close to a tributary of the river Walkham on South Dartmoor. This section often floods leaving the area squelchy in all but the driest summers.

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