Photo credit: Jennie Tang Yurue
The Sundew (Drosera paradoxa) belongs to the largest genus of carnivorous plants, the Droseraceae. These plants attract insects with their nectar and brightly-coloured tentacle-like structures and capture them using the stalked mucilaginous glands that are found on their leaf surfaces. Once the insect is trapped on the Sundew’s sticky leaves, the tentacles will catapult it towards the center of the leaf.
These tentacles are highly specialised leaves that contain digestive enzymes, allowing the Sundew to slowly digest its prey. Sundews feed on insects as they provide them with the nutritional value that the soils, the plants grow in, lack. Their flowers are also adapted to grow far above their leaves to prevent trapping potential pollinators.
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