Tall Sundew (Drosera auriculata)
Drosera auriculata (Droseraceae), a.k.a.: Tall Sundew, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
Name derivation: Drosera from the Greek 'droseros' meaning dewy; alluding to the glistening of the glandular leaf laminae. Auriculata from the Greek 'auricula' meaning ear-shaped.
Distribution: Found in the southern part of South Australia, from the Flinders Ranges to the lower South-east, growing in moist areas. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status: Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description: Small herb with flowering stems to 20 cm high. Lowest leaves in a flat rosette, circular to reniform, to 6 mm diameter. Stem leaves alternate or in clusters, lamina with 2 acute lobes, to 6 mm diameter, peltate on slender petiole to 9 mm long, stipules absent. Inflorescence to 10 cm long with 2–8 white or pink flowers. Flowering between August and November.
Drosera, commonly known as the sundews, is one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants, with at least 194 species. These members of the family Droseraceae lure, capture, and digest insects using stalked mucilaginous glands covering their leaf surfaces. The insects are used to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which the plants grow. Various species, which vary greatly in size and form, are native to every continent except Antarctica.
Both the botanical name (from the Greek δρόσος: drosos = "dew, dewdrops") and 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.
Sundews are perennial (or rarely annual) herbaceous plants, forming prostrate or upright rosettes between 1 and 100 cm (0.39 and 39.37 in) in height, depending on the species. Climbing species form scrambling stems which can reach much longer lengths, up to 3 m (9.8 ft) in the case of D. erythrogyne. Sundews have been shown to be able to achieve a lifespan of 50 years. The genus is specialized for nutrient uptake through its carnivorous behavior, for example the pygmy sundew is missing the enzymes (nitrate reductase, in particular) that plants normally use for the uptake of earth-bound nitrates.
Adelaide HillsAustralian nativeCarnivorousConservationDrosera auriculataFloraLobethalMount Lofty RangesNatureSouth AustraliaTall SundewJames Rolevink, from