Sundews (Drosera)

Sundews or Drosera, utilize what is called a flypaper trapping mechanism to engage in carnivory. The plants produce leaves covered in tentacles that secrete sticky droplets of “dew” in order to attract and catch bugs.

Once a bug is trapped, some sundew species will begin to curl their leaves around it. This curling action introduces additional dew to ensure the prey doesn’t escape. It also causes more of the leaf surface to come in contact with the bug as the sundew prepares for digestion.

Digestion begins when the sundew releases enzymes and acids to break down the prey into usable nutrients which it then absorbs. After a few days, only the bug’s exoskeleton remains.

Sundews are one of the most diverse types of carnivorous plant in terms of habitat. Some grow in tropical rainforests while others have adapted to survive hot dry climates or freezing winters. For the most part though, sundews prefer low nutrient bog-like conditions during the growing season.