Scientific name: Drosera rotundifolia
The carnivorous lifestyle of the Round-leaved sundew makes this heathland plant a fascinating species. The round leaves have sticky, 'dew'-covered tendrils that tempt in unsuspecting insects as prey.
StatisticsHeight: up to 20cm
When to seeJune to August
AboutThe Round-leaved sundew is a strange and beautiful plant that can be found sitting among the soggy Sphagnum mosses at the shores of bog pools, on wet heaths and peaty moors. A tiny, slender plant, it stands out from the crowd because of its diet. Hair-like tendrils on each reddish leaf are tipped with glistening droplets that attract passing insects. But this 'dew' is very sticky, trapping the insect; the sundew's tendrils detect the presence of its stuck prey and curl inwards to engulf it. Eventually, the whole leaf wraps around the insect which is digested. The acidic habitats the Round-leaved Sundew lives in don't provide enough nutrients, so it has evolved this carnivorous way of life to supplement its diet.
How to identifyThe greeny-red leaves of the Round-leaved sundew are covered in red 'hairs' and arranged at the base of the plant in a rosette. The white or pink flowers appear in summertime at the top of hairless, red stems. The Round-leaved sundew can be distinguished from the Oblong-leaved sundew by the rounder shape of its leaves.
In our area
Sundews can be seen in the wet areas of the mosses of north Shropshire. They were once common on our Wem Moss nature reserve and will hopefully soon be recorded again as our management work improves conditions for them.