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DROSERA capensis

Image of Drosera capensis

Family

Droseraceae

Botanical Name

DROSERA capensis

Plant Common Name

Cape Sundew, Sundew

General Description

Native to marshes and other damp habitats in southwestern South Africa, this evergreen herbaceous perennial is a favorite of collectors of carnivorous plants.

This tender perennial produces rosettes of pale green to red, spatula-shaped leaves that are held on long broad stalks. The upper surface of each leaf blade is lined with stout, red or purple, glandular hairs, each bearing a drop of dew-like resin at the tip. The hairs snare and digest small insects. The leaf rosettes arise from underground rhizomes. Older rosettes may develop short woody stems at their base. In summer and early fall, rosettes send forth short leafless stalks with one-sided clusters of delicate, purplish-pink, five-petaled flowers. Small fruit capsules follow, with self-sowing often occurring.

This wetland native needs ample light and damp, acidic, relatively infertile soil. Grow Cape sundew in a 50/50 sand/peat mix in a container whose base is immersed in water, or plant it in the garden in a moist peat bed. Plants will tolerate a few degrees of frost. In areas colder than USDA Zone 8, overwinter plants indoors in cool sunny conditons. Propagate Cape sundew by division, stem or root cuttings, or seed.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 10

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-12" / 10.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Purple, Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Purple, Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Purple, Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Red, Purple, Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Houseplant, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes