The name “Drosera is derived from the Greek words “droseros” which means dewy and ‘drosos’ meaning dew.
Sundews are carnivorous plants. This means that sundews can trap and digest insects to obtain extra nutrients, such as nitrogen. This allows sundews to live where other plants can’t- in nutrient-depleted soils or peat bogs. Some sundews can obtain a sufficient amount of nutrients from the soil, which allows them to survive for long periods of time.
The leaves of sundews are covered with “tentacles”. The tip of every tentacle contains a nectar gland, which produces a globule of a sticky digestive enzyme. When an insect lands on the leaf, they get stuck on the dew. As they struggle to get out of the dew, the tentacles/leaf start(s) to wrap around the insect (through a complicated biological process involving several action potentials). The dew eventually suffocates the insect, and it stops moving. The digestive enzymes absorb nutrients that the sundew needs. If sundews are fed (or capture their own food), they will generally grow larger and faster than plants that are not fed.
Drosera capensis thrive in a medium of 1 part sand: 1 part peat: 1 part vermiculite, kept moist.
Many species of sundews are self-fertile; their flowers will often self-pollinate upon closing. Often, numerous seeds are produced. The tiny black seeds germinate in response to moisture and light, while seeds of temperate species also require cold, damp, stratification to germinate. no cold stratification is necessary for Drosera capensis. Seeds of the tuberous species require a hot, dry summer period followed by a cool, moist winter to germinate.
In culture, sundews can often be propagated through leaf, crown, or root cuttings, as well as through seeds.