There are more than 100 species of Drosera in the world with the greatest concentration of species in Australia. It was Dr. A. W. Roth, a physician and botanist, who discovered in 1779 that the tentacles or stalked glands on Drosera were capable of movement. By this time Dionaea, the Venus Fly Trap, was well-known and investigators surmised that Drosera was a carnivore. Carnivory in Drosera was definitely established by Darwin, who conducted several meticulous studies on the digestive ability of these plants. Drosera is derived from the Greek words "droseros" which means dewy and "drosos" meaning dew, alluding to the resemblance of the drop of mucilage on the tentacle gland to dew.

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