Droseraceae: The Carnivorous Plant Family Essay

1035 words - 5 pages

The family Droseraceae is a cosmopolitan species that is found on all of the continents with the exception of Antarctica. This is likely the most diverse carnivorous plant family and has 150-160 species. 11 of these species are found in the United States (Webb D. 2008). This family is usually found as an herb or rarely a small shrub. The leaves of this family are alternate or whorled. This family has simple leaves, with the lamina with glandular hairs which trap insects, or have bristles that cause the lamina to close. The stipules may be present or absent. The Stamens are as many as there are petals. The stamens may be distinct, or connate at the base. The anthers are dithecal, opening by longitudinal slits; pollen grains in monads or tetrads. The flowers are bisexual, actinomorphic and solitary or in axillary or terminal cymes or racemes. The Calyx has 5 sepals, free or shortly united at the base, imbricate. The petals are as many as the sepals, distinct, convolute. The Gynoecium is made up of 3 carpels that are united to form a superior, compound, unilocular ovary. The ovary has three to many ovules on the parietal placentas. The styles are distinct with two to five simple of branched. The fruit is usually a loculicidal capsule. The seeds are usually small (Short, P.S. 2011).
One of the types of genera that occur in this family is the genus Drosera. This genus has close to 100 annual and perennial species of flowering plants. These are known for their ability to trap insects (Encyclopedia Britannica 2014). This plant genus is well known for its ability to trap insects. This general is widely spread in tropical and temperate regions (Encyclopedia Britannica 2014). This genus is distributed worldwide, but is most common in Australia. It is most commonly found in wet boggy places with sandy acidic soil. The small five-petaled white or pink flowers are held on the side of a curving stem that is 4 to 10 inches tall. This stem rises from a rosette of basal leaves. The basal leaves are often rounded and colored red. They are also covered in gland-tipped hairs that exude an insect attractant that is very sticky. The insects are captured by the stalked glands on the surface of the leave and are eventually covered by the sticky glands. After the prey has been dissolved by the enzymes which are secreted by the tentacles, the leaf opens and resets the trap.
Another genus in the family Droseraceae is the genus Dionaea which is the genus of the Venus flytrap. The Venus flytrap has a basal rosette of leaves that are up to 20 cm across. Each of the leaves has a flat stalk that ends in a trap that is close to 2 cm across. The center of the “trap” has a reddish color and the sides of the trap have fourteen to twenty stiff bristles that interlock when the trap closes. The flowers of this plant are white and in a cluster at the tip on a 15-45 cm stalk. The flowers have five sepals and five petals. There are 15-20 stamens. The...

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