#Biodiversity150 number 21 of 150 Slender Leaf Sundew

21/150: The Plant That Bites Back

Plantae: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Caryophyllales: Droseraceae: Drosera: Drosera linearis (Goldie)

The slender leaf sundew (Drosera linearis) is a carnivorous plant that lives in boggy areas with nitrogen-poor soil.  Their main diet consists of mosquitoes and other small insects, which they trap using sticky hair-like structures on their leaves.  It can take the plant as little as 15 minutes to kill the mosquito, but they digest their insect prey for up to 2 weeks! Each of the tentacle-like hairs on their leaves has a gland which produces three different components: nectar (to attract the insects), adhesive (to trap the insects), and enzymes (to digest the insects).  This red liquid excreted by the hairs forms small droplets, giving the plants the look of early morning dew drops – giving them their name. Interestingly, early settlers to North America once used the sticky red liquid excreted by these plants as ink to correspond with! Few people realize that carnivorous plants live in Canada, but not only are these sundews native to Canada, some species of pitcher plants can also be found here.  Most carnivorous plants live in boggy areas that are plentiful in their small insect prey – especially those pesky mosquitoes. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

The slender leaf sundew enjoying its boggy home. Photo Credit: Tab Tannery goo.gl/YDLsww
A slender leaf sundew. Photo Credit: Tab Tannery goo.gl/KC2Ln7

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  BPNP085-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Slender Leaf Sundew

Title Image: Specimen JEM 084 – Russel Island, Fathom Five National Marine Park, Ontario – 10-AUG-2007
photo credit: University of Guelph BIO Herbarium, BIO Herbarium Group, Steven Newmaster, Copyright 2009