The Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis)
The Drosera capensis, or more commonly known as the cape sundew is one of the most unusual and spectacular plants found in our world. This eudicodic angiosperm is a small-rosette forming, carnivorous species, meaning that it eats insects or anything else small and unlucky enough to land on it. The cape sundew is one of the most common sundews in cultivation due to its small size, durability and gratuitous amounts of seed production, making it a frequent sight in almost all parts of the world.
The cape sundew is a small-rosette carnivorous plant. It is a free-flowering evergreen, perennial, of differing heights. It forms a scrape that grows up to 1 foot tall and can bear up to 20 flowers. It has short woody rhizomatous stems, which accumulate and retain dead foliage of each previous season. It has many long, deep, and very well-developed roots. Its leaves are bright green and radiate from the stem. The lamina are linear ligulate, with a petiole that is about the same length as the lamina, being ~3 cm long (Brunner, 2012). The leaf apex is truncate to obtuse. The lamina has knob-shaped tentacles on its adaxial side, which are stalked with mucus covered glands covering the leaves surface. The mucus like fluid on the tentacles is an acidic enzyme that assists in the digestion of the plants prey. This species is considered pubescent with many trichomes covering the majority of the plant. The flowers found on the cape sundew are simple, and generally come in colors of red, pink or white with each flower borne on a single stem. Each flower generally has 5 petals that are from 12-14 mm across. Stamen are short with a rhomboid connective, with the locules diverging below. Styles are divided from the base, stigma is epical, and swollen. Its fruit is a capsule with each scape producing up to 2000 seed (Brunner, 2012).
The Drosera capensis is a member of the Nepenthales order which contains the Droseraceae family along with two other families which are; the Nepanthaceae and the Sarraceniaceae (Reveal, 2011). Species from the Nepenthales order are generally easy to distinguish from other orders because of their ability to digest and consume living organisms. The family in which the Drosera capensis can be found is the Droseraceae. The Droseraceae family, also known as the sundew family, can be characterized as a small group of carnivorous plants, and can be differentiated by their ability to ingest and capture organisms in order to obtain nutrients (especially nitrogen and phosphorus).
The cape sundew is primarily found in the southern cape of Africa, hence why it is called the cape sundew. The cape sundew can also be found in many marshes, along streams, in permanent seeps or dump areas. In general the Drosera capensis is most inhabitable in wet and damp areas. This species is very well distributed, being found on every continent excluding Antarctica, near some sort of water source. The plant...