Feature Plant

Sundew

(Drosera sp)

Drosera plants, within the Perth Hills, are usually quite small and seemingly delicate but they are resourceful and very hardy. Usually found in areas where the soil is poor these carnivorous plants obtain their nutrients from insects. Drosera sp use a lure to attract insects to the sticky globules on the hairs of its leaves, once the insect is ensnared the plant works quickly to cover it with a sticky secretion made up of digestive enzymes. These enzymes dissolve the insect allowing its nutrients to become accessible to the plant.

There are up to 200 species of Drosera in Western Australia with different leaf forms and flowers and range in colour from whites to pinks, oranges and reds. The flowers are usually located far from the plants sticky globules, for it would be counterproductive to consume your pollinator! Some species of Drosera can live up to 50 years and some plants found in the south-west of Western Australia have been measured to a metre tall.

 

Drosera

Drosera plant 

Photo: EMRC