Sundew seed detail. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of a Cape Sundew seed (Drosera capensis). This carnivorous plant comes from the Cape region of South Africa and thrives in bogs, marshes and wet grassland. In the spring it grows a long leafless stalk which produces pretty, five petalled pink flowers which open one by one up to the tip of the stalk. Unlike the British species it is not dormant during the winter. Sundews secrete a sticky substance on the trichomes or hairs on their leaves. An insect is lured onto the dew-like liquid and when it struggles, more sticky hairs will touch its body and it will become more entrapped. The leaf curls around the insect and slowly the plant's digestive enzymes will break down the soft parts of the insect's body. The leaf will then uncurl and the husk of the insect will be blown away. Magnification x3960 (x975 at 10cm wide).
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