SY9485 : Sundew (a carnivorous plant) on Hartland Moor

taken 10 years ago, near to Ridge, Dorset, Great Britain

Sundew (a carnivorous plant) on Hartland Moor
Sundew (a carnivorous plant) on Hartland Moor
At the time of my visit there had been little rain for some weeks, so the boggy areas of the Moor were easily accessible. Along the narrow path I followed - no more than a deer track - sundew was growing in many places, often protected by overhanging heather.

The plant seen here is Drosera rotundifolia, Common or Round-leaved Sundew. The sundews have evolved a flesh-eating mode of life - trapping insects and other small invertebrates - in order to survive in habitat where little nourishment can be drawn from the soil. This shot shows leaves in various stages of their life cycle. The one at top-centre has yet to trap a 'meal'; the one bottom-left has caught and digested something quite sizeable (and is now beginning to wilt and be re-absorbed), while leaves to right and left seem to have trapped very tiny prey. Close to the centre of the 'rosette' are the stubby beginnings of at least two more leaves.

In order to trap its prey the plant exudes a sticky fluid - and I was very pleased to find that in this shot you can see droplets at the ends of many of the tiny 'tentacles'.

To give an idea of scale, I would guess that this plant was no more than 5cm across.
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SY9485, 60 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 1 May, 2011   (more nearby)
Saturday, 14 May, 2011
Plantlife   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SY 948 856 [100m precision]
WGS84: 50:40.2026N 2:4.4713W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SY 948 856
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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Bog  Heathland 

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