Sundew

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Drosera, commonly known as the sundews, comprise one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants, with at least 194 species.[1] These members of the family Droseraceae lure, capture, and digest insects using stalked mucilaginous glands covering their leaf surface. The insects are used to supplement the poor mineral nutrition that sundews are able to obtain from the soil in which they grow. Various species, which vary greatly in size and form, can be found growing natively on every continent except Antarctica.[2]

Both the botanical name (from the Greek δρόσος: "drosos" = "dew, dewdrops") as well as the English common name (sundew, derived from Latin ros solis, meaning "dew of the sun") refer to the glistening drops of mucilage at the tip of each tentacle that resemble drops of morning dew.

Contents

Characteristics

Sundews are perennial (or rarely annual) herbaceous plants, forming prostrate or upright rosettes between 1 centimeter (0.4 in) and 1 meter (39 in) in height, depending on the species. Climbing species form scrambling stems which can reach much longer lengths, up to 3 meters (10 ft) in the case of D. erythrogyne.[3] Sundews have been shown to be able to achieve a lifespan of 50 years.[4] The genus is so specialized for nutrient uptake through its carnivorous behavior that the pygmy sundew is missing the enzymes (nitrate reductase in particular [5]) that plants normally use for the uptake of earth-bound nitrates.

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