Ravenous sundews


Long Island, NY, is home to 16 species of carnivorous plants. Three of those species are sundews, and two are pictured here. The first three photographs are of Drosera intermedia, also known as the spoonleaf sundew. The habitat where they were photographed is on the edge of a small vernal pond in the pine barrens of Long Island, NY. The habitat is almost pure sand, that is saturated with rain water. In the first photograph, we see a prey capture of a meadowhawk dragonfly, and the second photo shows how the plants can grow from low rosettes to forming stems that climb. The third photograph is a detail of the traps of D. intermedia.
The last two photographs are of the threadleaf sundew, Drosera filiformis. This habitat is in a low swath at the bottom of a dune swale, surrounded by high sand dunes that protect the habitat from the salt air of the nearby bay. The groundwater seeps up, keeping the sand very wet while being exposed to strong sunlight throughout the day. The fourth photograph focuses on an individual plant, with an emerging flower stalk, early in the season. The final photograph shows a portion of the population, as the sun begins to set behind them, providing dramatic lighting that highlights the dewey nectar that attracts and traps their insect prey. These photographs were taken in the 2012 season.


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