DROSERA AURICULATA                    Droseraceae
Tall Sundew

Drosera auriculata
The small shield-shaped leaves are covered with stout hairs (called tentacles), which bear a blob of sticky fluid at the tip. No tentacles are attached to the base of the flowers.

A perennial herb which dies back to ground level in summer. The sticky fluid on the tentacles captures small insects. Enzymes in the fluid then partially dissolve the body which provides nutrients for the plant. The pink flowers appear in a small group at the end of the stem. In large plants the stem can be branched.

Flowering period - Spring

Common in the lowlands; often found in thin soil on rocks in dry forest, and sometimes in peaty ground.

Cultivation: Seed may be sown in spring, but requires lime-free infertile soil. Tubers transplanted from the bush usually fade away.

Tasmania has about 8 species of Drosera, all of which are armed with sticky droplets on their tentacles. Two other species may be confused with D. auriculata - D. peltata is very similar except that each flower is surrounded by a ring of hairy sepals.  D. macrantha ssp. planchonii is a climbing sundew with small round leaves and relatively larger flowers. This is found mostly in sandy woodlands and heaths in the north of Tasmania.