Carnivorous Plants at Ploughshares

on

Drosera capensis, commonly known as the Cape sundew, is a small carnivorous species of perennial sundew native to the Cape in South Africa.  Because of its size, easy to grow nature, and the copious amounts of seed it produces, it has become one of the most common sundews in cultivation. It produces strap-like leaves, up to 1.4 in long and 0.2 in wide,[ which, as in all sundews, are covered in brightly colored tentacles which secrete a sticky mucilage that traps arthropods. The plant leaf surrounds the prey within an hour while tentacles continue to move to further trap the prey. Digestion takes well over 6 hours after a prey’s original ensnarement. The plant has a tendency to retain the dead leaves of previous seasons, and the main stem of the plant can become quite long and woody with time.

It is not easily killed by temperature extremes of a short duration, and is generally a forgiving plant to grow. Additionally, D. capensis does not undergo dormancy like some sundews.

It is among the easiest of carnivorous plants to keep indoors. It grows very well in open air, on a sunny windowsill, as long as it is kept in an inch or two of mineral-free water.  It does not require a terrarium although it can benefit from one.

capesundew

capesundewflower

2″ Cape Sundew $6.50 at Ploughshares Nursery