This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek droseros, dewy, from the dew-like excretions on the tips of the leaf-hairs). Droseraceae. A group of carnivorous plants popularly known as the Sundews or Dew-Plants.
The stems usually short, slender or compressed, rarely elongate and upright in such types as D. peltata: leaves varying from linear through lanceolate to circular, often arranged in a rosette, and beset over their upper surfaces with fine often irritable hairs, that excrete a clear neutral viscid fluid which entangles and catches insect prey; the hairs then bend inward toward the leaf - center, the fluid becomes acid and also excretes a proteinaceous ferment by which the animal tissues are digested, the dissolved products being then absorbed for the plant's nutrition: flower-scapes slender, ending in curved scorpioid cymes of blooms, 1/4- 1 1/2 in. across, and varying from white through pink to scarlet or crimson; sepals, petals and stamens 5 each, while the carpels vary from 5-3, are syncarpous with parietal placentation, and bear as many style-arms or lobes: fruit a caps. - About 90 species scattered over the world, though most abundantly in Austral. Monograph by Diels in Engler's Pflanzenreich, hft. 26. The species usually grow in moist muddy soil, at times almost floating in water, as in the common N. J. species, D. intermedia. Some Australian kinds form tubers, and can then survive through dry periods.
The leaves in our native species wither in autumn, and a small winter bud-rosette is formed, which unfolds its leaves in the succeeding spring.
The native and exotic species all grow well if treated as greenhouse plants, and grown in fine muddy loam topped by a little sphagnum. They should also be kept constantly moist in their root extremities, and exposed to bright light. The following native and exotic species are now often grown in collections. They can be propagated by seeds, by division of the shoots, or by cutting the slender rhizomes into short lengths of 1/2-1 in. The last, when placed in moist soil, root and form buds in two to three weeks.
Labill. (D. dichotoma, B. & S.). stems short: leaves long-stalked, 6-16 in. high, once- to twice-forked into long-linear reddish green segments that are covered with viscid hairs: scape branched above; flowers white, 1/2-3/4in. across; flowers June, July. Austral, and N. Zeal. B.M. 3082. - Intro, in 1823. Easily grown and prop, by division of the crowns.
Linn. stem slightly elongate: leaves in a terminal rosette, linear to spatulate, tapered into petiole, obtuse at apex: scapes 6-10 in. long with 5-20 secund purple flowers; flowers June, July. Africa, southwestern part of Cape Colony. B.M. 6583. - Intro, in 1875.
filiformis, Raf. stem short, hair-covered: leaves linear, erect, 6-8 in. long, greenish with abundant purple hairs: scape equal to or longer than above, 6-15-flowered; flowers rather crowded, unilateral; petals pink-purple, 3/8in. across; flowers June, July. Del. to Mass., along sandy coastal places. B.M. 3540. Torrey, Flower N. York, 82: t. 10.
Hayne. Rhizome slender, 1-4 in. long: leaves 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 in. long, long-petioled, spatulate, red with glandular hairs: scape 6-12-flowered; petals white; flowers April (Fla.) to August (New Bruns.). E. N. Amer., Cuba, and Eu. - Forms wild hybrids at times with other species, peltata, Smith. stem 6-10 in., bulbous below, slender elongate above ground, with scattered peltate glandular leaves, and terminating in delicate 6-10-flowered stalks: petals white to pink. From India through China, Japan and the Philippines to Austral. G.C.II.19:436. - A pretty, delicate and striking species now not uncommon in cultivation
Linn. Fig. 1362. stem short, slender: leaves 3/4-2 in., with elongate non-glandular petiole and circular red-glandular blade: scape slender, 5-12-flowered; petals white, expanding in bright sunshine; flowers May (Carolinas) to Sept. (Newfoundland). - A classic plant, owing to Darwin's studies in "Insectivorous Plants."
Tracyi, Macfarlane. Habit of D. filiformis. Leaves 12-16 in., pale green with light green glandular hairs: scape 15-24 in.; flowers purple, 3/4in. across. Abundant over the coastal area of the Gulf states from mid-Fla. to La. Flower April, May. - One of the largest species of the genus. J. M. Macfarlane.
Fig. 1362. Drosera rotundifolia. (X 1/2)