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DROSERA

Image of Drosera

Family

Droseraceae

Botanical Name

DROSERA

Plant Common Name

Sundew

General Description

Native to bogs and other damp acidic habitats worldwide, sundews are distinguished by their hairy, insect-trapping leaves, which typically occur in basal rosettes. Most of the approximately 100 sundew species are perennials or annuals; many are evergreen.

The linear to rounded, typically long-stalked leaves of these hardy to tender herbs are topped with stout, red or purple hairs, each bearing a drop of dew-like resin at the tip. The hairs snare and digest small insects. The light green to deep red leaves are usually configured in ground-hugging rosettes that arise from underground rhizomes or tubers. A few sundews have a vining habit. Many deciduous sundews die back to a winter rosette of plump leaf buds known as a hibernaculum.

Most sundews bloom in summer, bearing small white, pink, red, or purple flowers either singly or in elongated, often one-sided clusters. Small fruit capsules follow, with self-sowing often occurring.

These wetland natives need ample light and damp, acidic, relatively infertile soil. Grow sundews in a 50/50 sand/peat mix in a container whose base is immersed in water, or plant them in the garden in a moist peat bed. Tender sundews can be overwintered in a cool sunny indoor location. Propagate plants by division, stem or root cuttings, or seed. These relatively easy-to-grow insectivores are popular with fanciers of carnivorous plants.

Characteristics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

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

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Purple, Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Green, Purple, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Green, Purple, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Green, Purple, 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

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Houseplant, Tropical, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes