Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sundew (Drosera spatulata) - Bug-eating Plant


I've been inspired by Gayla at You Grow Girl - The Dirt to blog about one type of carnivorous plant that I have in my collection --- Sundew (Drosera spatulata).


This pretty, alien-looking plant has been sitting in my greenhouse collecting fungus gnats for several months now. I have read that it is considered to be a "weed" by many carnivorous plant lovers. As it tries to "take over" other plants in its efforts to propagate. It's true! I found spatulata appendages sprouting out of a nearby plant a few months ago, and had to pinch them off!


The spatulata's methods for attracting and capturing prey are somewhat more subtle than that of say, the Venus Flytrap. Their leaves are densely covered with stalked and sessile glands. The stalked heads look like tiny red-capped mushrooms up close. Each capped with a droplet of mucus. Insects are lured by the nectar-like mucus glands and the intense honey smell the entire plant gives off. According to Growing Carnivorous Plants by Barry Rice, "when an insect touches a stalked gland, the mucus does not glue the insect to the plant: instead, the entire blob of mucus is transferred from the gland to the insect. As the impaired insect careens from gland to gland, it eventually accumulates so much that it eventually drowns."

11 comments:

Sheila said...

Cool!

Alexandria Sewell said...

It's one trippy little plant, Sheila!

Tatyana said...

Interesting!You need to watch it!

Alexandria Sewell said...

Tatyana, I neglected to mention that I have two of these little curiosities! And yes, they do need watching!

JGH said...

What a way to go. I (almost) feel sorry for the bug! Good thing you have it in a container.

Alexandria Sewell said...

I definately wouldn't want to go out like that! But I don't feel bad for the annoying bugs. Even in a container this plant seems to be a badass!

Janet said...

I found you! Alexandria, I will be back often to see more of these interesting plants and what you have to say about them. I don't have an carnivourous plants.

Alexandria Sewell said...

I'm glad that you found my blog, Janet. Thank you for visiting! Please come back often.

themoderngardener said...

Ooh I think it's gorgeous! A good beautiful disguise for the unwitting insect. And thanks for stopping by my blog Alexandria.

Alexandria Sewell said...

Moderngardener, thank you for the compliment on my plant. You should see some of the others --- they're even odder-looking. I'll be back by your blog soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a project on carnivorous plants! This is very cool!

Search This Blog