Round-leaved Sundew Drosera rotundifolia,

Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)

Plant Family: Sundew, Droseraceae

The Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) is a tiny carnivorous plant of bogs and  some swamps with leaves only 2-10mm wide and a slender flower stalk 10-25 cm in height. It is one of those amazing plants that make a bog so special.  It has sticky hairs protruding from its leaves in all directions.  At the end of the hairs is a droplet of glue (that looks like a dew drop) that catches insects unlucky enough to touch them.  After trapping an fly, beetle or other small creature the leaves fold up around it and begin to digest its dinner.  This is the way that carnivorous plants of the nutrient poor bogs get much of their nitrogen.

Leaves of Round-Leaved Sundew
The leaves of Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), a carnivorous plant of bogs, has sticky hairs protruding from its leaves to catch insects.

Finding sundews is difficult, because the are so small and low to the ground, they are easily overlooked.  While working as a botanist in Michigan I was cataloging the plants and physical characteristics of a sedge meadow.  If my eyes hadn’t been constantly fixed on the ground I would have never noticed the little flower stalk protruding from the cover of dead sedge leaves.  When I pealed back the layer of leaves there were the little pincushion-like leaves.

Sundew was used by Native American tribes to remedy warts and corns.  It was also used as a love charm.

Flowers of Round-Leaved Sundew
The tiny flowers of Round-Leaved Sundew