Drosera rotundifolia (Round-leaved Sundew) - photos and description

Drosera rotundifolia
Long flower stems with white flower buds in above photo

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia

General: Tiny insectivorous plant, leaves growing from a central rosette.

The plants eat small insects to provide them with the nitrogen which is lacking where it lives. When an insect becomes entangled in the hairs, the leaves bend inwards so that the insect comes into contact with fine, inner hairs. Enzymes are produced by the hairs which dissolve the insect which is then absorbed by the leaf. Only the insect's exoskeleton remains which blows away when the leaf hairs uncurl to become erect again, ready for the next meal.

Flowers: Small white flowers in cymes born on a leafless scape. Flowers measured at 4 mm in diameter.

Leaves: Leaves are orbicular, we measured a leaf blade at 5 mm long by 5 mm wide. Each leaf bearing glandular hairs, the hairs exuding a sticky drop at their tip.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 20, we measured scapes to 23 cm long.

Habitat: Nitrogen-poor bogs in the boreal forest. We have observed these Sundews prefer growing on small hummocks 15 cm to 30 cm above the waterline. We have seen them growing in the same bogs as its cousin Drosera anglica which seems to prefer living in sphagnum moss right at the level of the water.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: There are 3 species of Drosera native to the province, they can be distinguished by the shape of their leaves:

- Drosera rotundifolia has leaves that are more or less orbicular, this plant is common.

- Drosera anglica has leaves that are oblong, this plant is rare.

- Drosera linearis has leaves that are linear, this plant is extremely rare.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken in bogs and fens in the boreal forest. On June 29th about 400 km north of Regina, and July 16th and 22nd, Duck Mountain Provincial Park, 300 km northeast of our home in Regina, SK.