Several sundews, Drosera species, and Karkalla, Carpobrotus rosii, were among the fascinating plants examined during our most recent plant study group.

Magnification is a must when looking at sundew leaves as a hand lens will reveal the lethal, sticky, digestive secretions which are exuded from the numerous stemmed glands. Together with the cupped nature of the leaves, a perfect insect trap is created, one we witnessed working most effectively.

Further examination of the leaves revealed an obvious difference between the Tall Sundew, Drosera auriculata, and the Climbing Sundew, Drosera macrantha subsp. macrantha. We noted that the Tall Sundew has crescent shaped leaves with ‘ears’, hence auriculata, whereas the leaves of the Climbing Sundew are rounded.

Tall Sundew
Tall Sundew

Climbing Sundew
Climbing Sundew

All is not as it seems with the Karkalla flower, as we were surprised to find no petals, the petal-like structures are in fact sterile stamens. The equally numerous fertile stamens were quite obvious, having a recognisable filament and anther.

Karkalla
Karkalla

If you are excited about what you have just read why not join us? No previous microscope experience is necessary and we do have fun.

Gail Slykhuis

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