(Above) Compare this photo to the drawing in your book. Here, the flower’s spiral is wound tightly, and will gradually loosen to the take the form in the drawing.

COMMON NAME: Shield sundew


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Drosera peltata

FAMILY: Droseraceae

DISTRIBUTION: Australia, New Zealand, India and most of Southeast Asia

DESCRIPTION: Small herb, 5-50 cm long, named after the shield-like shape of its leaves

‘Sundew’ is the common name for the genus Drosera, one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants in the world. They are usually found in bogs, sandy banks or other mineral soils that are low in organic nitrogen and phosphorous content. They compensate for the lack of nutrients they would otherwise derive from the soil by trapping and ingesting insects—fungus gnats, ants, crickets, spiders, bloodworms, fruit flies and more. Sundews are equipped with stalked muciliginous glands which secrete a kind of glue that captures and holds fast insects that venture near. This glue resembles drops of dew, from where the plants get their name.

As the trapped insect struggles, it is covered in sticky mucilage and suffocates to death. The sundew then secretes a second kind of enzyme with which it digests the insect and extracts its nutrients. There are three species of sundews in the Western Ghats, all of which are pictured here.

(Above) Drosera peltata

(Below Left) Drosera indica

(Below Right) Drosera burmanii

COMMON NAME: Flycatcher


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Drosera indica

FAMILY: Droseraceae

DISTRIBUTION: Asia, Australia, Africa

DESCRIPTION: Small herb, 5-50 cm long

COMMON NAME: Tropical sundew


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Drosera burmannii

FAMILY: Droseraceae

DISTRIBUTION: Australia, India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia

DESCRIPTION: A small, compact plant, normally spanning only 2 cm

© All images on this page are the work and property of Siddarth Machado