This group of plants could well be called living "flypaper." Their leaves are covered with tentacles which terminate in spherical glands which are enclosed in a ball of sticky mucilage. The glistening of their mucilage in sunlight suggests the common name, Sundews. Insects are trapped when they light on the leaf and become entangled in the sticky mucilage. As the insect attempts to pull free it frequently pulls over or accidentally touches other glands and, through struggling, becomes hopelessly mired. There are several types of tentacles on the leaves of the various Sundew species leaves. One type found in several species can, when stimulated, move and so push the struggling prey down onto the leaf surface. Movement of the tentacles can be induced by either mechanical or chemical stimulation. Tentacle bending is usually obvious within a half hour of stimulation. Tentacles of some of the genera in this group exhibit no motion.
This group of plants is quite diverse in shape, cultural requirements, and size. The Sundew group includes the genera Byblis, Drosera, and Drosophyllum.
Was this article helpful?