Carnivorous Plants Website
Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness
by Makoto Honda


Carnivorous Plants Story
Picture book for a young audience / Kindle Edition

Makoto Honda

Copyright (c) 2013-2017 by Makoto Honda. All Rights Reserved.



GENUS Drosera

Glistening in the sun like a cluster of diamonds, sundews catch small animal prey with a flypaper, or adhesive, trap. The leaves of sundew plants are covered with numerous tiny hairs, each holding a crystal clear droplet of a glue-like liquid. This gave the sundew its name.


The early morning sun gives a warm hue to a dew-holding leaf of Drosera intermedia(left). In July, southern Michigan. Forked leaves (right) of a beautiful sundew named Drosera binata, native to Australia and New Zealand.


Crystal-clear droplets of mucilage on a leaf of Drosera capillaris.


Glistening jewels of light - an Australian sundew, Drosera binata.


There are about 180 species of sundews worldwide. Sixty or so species grow in Australia alone. Many sundews are also found in South Africa. Seven species grow in the United States. The shape and size of sundews vary widely among different species. The largest sundew in North America reaches more than a foot in height, but many species are small rosettes of several centimeters or less in diameter.


The general view of a sub-alpine swamp in southern Oregon in mid-June. Carnivorous plants found here include the English sundew (Drosera anglica) and three species of bladderworts (Utricularia intermedia, U. minor, and U. macrorhiza).


Sprouting new leaves of the English sundew, Drosera anglica, on a cold, rainy day in late June, in southern Oregon.


A leaf (left) of the common sundew, Drosera rotundifolia. Note the characteristic leaf blade shape of this species which is slightly wider than long. A spider on the thread leaf (right) of Drosera filiformis from Florida.


The common sundew Drosera rotundifolia, growing in a northern California seep. In May.


Thread-leaf sundew (Drosera filiformis) and a spider.


A coiling new leaf of the thread-leaf sundew, Drosera filiformis, in Forida, in May.


Red sundew plants (Drosera capillaris) creating a colorful contrast to the green ground cover. In May, in Florida.


A red carpet of sundews (Drosera rotundifolia) in a northern California seep, in May.


A plant of the linear-leaved sundew (Drosera linearis) growing in a fen on the shore of Lake Huron, northern Michigan. In July.


Note the leaf shape (left) of this linear-leaved sundew (Drosera linearis) - The two sides of the leaf blade are parallel. A back-lit leaf (right) of Drosera rotundifolia. Note that some tentacles are already moving toward a stimulation source.


A colony of Drosera capillaris sundews on a moist, white sand surface. Note the attractive red coloration of the plants in this sunny habitat. In Florida, in March.


Sundew plants of Drosera intermedia growing along the creek, in the Florida panhandle, in May.


A tiny rosette of a pygmy sundew from Australia, Drosera pygmaea.


The characteristic dew-holding hairs on the sundew leaf are called tentacles since they behave like the tentacles of an octopus. Each tentacle has a slender stalk tipped with a round gland, which is enveloped in a dew-like, sticky mucilage produced by the gland. The gland is also capable of producing digestive juices when an insect is captured. The tentacles play an important role in trapping prey in sundews.


A single leaf of Drosera capillaris, one of the most commonly seen sundews in the American Southeast. Note a clear distinction between the leaf blade (with tentacles) and the slender leaf stalk in this species.


A bug caught on the slender leaf of the thread leaf sundew (Drosera filiformis var. filiformis) in Florida, in May. Note the brilliant red tentacle coloration of this strain. 


A leaf of a sundew (Drosera intermedia) with a small fly that has just landed. Note that, in sensing the catch, nearby tentacles are moving toward the prey.






Carnivorous Plants Story - Copyrighted Material
Copyright (c) 2013 by Makoto Honda. All Rights Reserved.

For a young audience, click here for
"Eaten Alive by Carnivorous Plants" by Kathleen J. Honda & Makoto Honda