Buds N Bugs: Sundews

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Sundew

LOis Swoboda
Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 02:29 PM.

During the Christmas Bird Count, I visited the Port St. Joe Airport and saw a number of interesting plants there. I couldn’t help but notice a very healthy stand of dwarf sundew creating a pretty red carpet around the drainage ditches.

The sundew family, Drosera, has almost 200 species and is found on every continent except Antarctica . It is the largest family of carnivorous plants, most often found in wetlands.

Carnivorous plants use the nitrogen in insect protein to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which they grow.

There are five species of sundews in Florida : Dwarf, pink, thread leaf, spoonleaf and Tracy ’s sundew. All are found in Franklin County but the dwarf sundew is the commonest by far.

The plant is called sundew because of the gel like glue on the leaves that helps the plant trap insects.

Both the botanical name, from the Greek word “drosos” and the English common name, sundew, roughly translate to mean "dew of the sun" and refer to the glistening drops of glue at the tip of each tentacle.

Sundews are mostly perennial and form rosettes of leave that vary in height from a quarter inch to three feet.



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