Buds N Bugs: Sundews

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

Medicinal preparations are primarily made using the roots, flowers, and fruit-like capsules. Since all native sundews species are protected in many parts of Europe and North America , extracts are usually prepared using cultivated fast-growing sundews.

Cultivation requirements for sundews vary greatly by species. In general, they require high moisture content and full direct sunlight. Water must be very pure and sundews should never be fertilized.

The glue produced by Drosera has remarkable elastic properties and has made this genus an attractive subject in biomaterials research. Because living cells attach readily to the mucilage, research is underway to determine if it can be used by surgeons during organ transplants or hip and knee replacements.

The roots of the tuberous sundews native to Australia are considered a delicacy by the aborigines. In the Scottish Highlands, purple and yellow textile dyes were prepared from sundew roots. A sundew liqueur called rosolio is still produced using sundew roots in Italy using a recipe from the 14th century.

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