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DROSERA rotundifolia

Image of Drosera rotundifolia

Family

Droseraceae

Botanical Name

DROSERA rotundifolia

Plant Common Name

Roundleaf Sundew

General Description

The most widespread of North American sundews, roundleaf sundew exists in piney, sandy, acid bogs and swamps from Alaska and the northernmost provinces of Canada down to California and Georgia. It also exists across the whole of northern Eurasia. This amazingly hardy, insectivorous perennial has rounded foliage dotted with hairs tipped with deadly, resinous "dew" that draws, traps and digests insect prey. In summer it produces a delicate scape topped with pinkish white flowers.

During winter dormancy, the plant rests in a ground-hugging bud known as a hibernacula. The distinctive foliage of roundleaf sundew looks straight out of a sci-fi movie. Thick leaf stems support rounded, pad-like, green leaves lined with long reddish hairs, each with a sticky, sweet drop of resin at the tip. Insects become stuck to the "dew", enzymes in the dew break them down, and their nutrients are absorbed by the plant. Through summer, delicate, five-petaled flowers of pinkish white rise above the low-growing cluster of leaves. The flowers are borne on a long, leafless stem, and the 2 to 15 blooms are produced on only one side of the stem. After pollination by insects, small capsule fruits filled with small seeds are produced.

Grow roundleaf sundew in full to partial sun and sandy, acid soil rich in peaty organic matter. (Wild populations are commonly found growing in live sphagnum peat.) The greater the sun exposure, the brighter the reddish hues on the leaf threads. In winter, the dormant plants require cold temperatures and drier soil conditions. The seeds also require a period of winter cold to germinate--usually at least four weeks. Grow this sundew outdoors in a bog garden or wetland container planting. Terrarium-grown specimens must be subjected to a few months of winter cold to survive.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3"-12" / 7.6cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    World/Pandemic, North America, Europe, Russia/Siberia, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • 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

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes