- Sundew forms the common name for a rather large genus of carnivorous plants. Currently, science knows of 194 species in this genus.
- All varieties of Sundew capture and digest insects via sticky glands on the surface of the leaves.
- The various types also vary significantly in form and size. The genus also occurs on every continent except Antarctica.
- Its name also derives from the drops of mucilage present on the leaves. These drops accumulate at the tips of the leaves of all known forms of these plants.
Sundew Physical Characteristics
Most species of Sundew evolved as perennials, yet a few of them are annuals. However, all remain herbaceous plants.
The various species range rather greatly in size from 0.4-39 in (1-100 cm) in height.
This genus also developed as highly specialized for carnivorous behavior. A few types even acquire needed nutrients entirely from the insects consumed.
The flowers develop high above the leaves, and, in the majority of the different types, the flowers display either white or pink.
Sundew Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Sundew occurs as far north as portions of Alaska, in the United States. To the south, its range extends as far as New Zealand.
The greatest diversity of species still exists in Australia. Roughly half of all the recognized species live there.
Yet another three types evolved in Europe. These typically appear in very wet habitats, with high levels of sunlight and acidic soil.
Some varieties also evolved as climbing plants. These sometimes form stems that grow even taller than this. A few of these unique plants even live as long as 50 years.