Leaf of the Sundew, Drosera capensis.

Leaf of the Sundew, Drosera capensis.

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stereomicroscope photograph of the leaf of an insectivorous plant, the Cape sundew, Drosera capensis. The sundew ensares its victims by means of tentacles capped by sticky glands (the red structures seen here) which simultaneously attract and capture the insect as it forages for food. Any subsequent struggle stimulates the tentacles, which slowly move in, further entangling the prey. Enzymes are secreted which digest the insect. This mechanism has evolved to supplement the diet of the sundew, which grows in mineral deficient environments such as uplands and bogs. Nitrogen in particular is obtained from the insect. Magnification: x3.2 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: botany, carnivorous, carnivorous plants, drosera capensis, insectivorous plant, nature, plant, sundew

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