Plant DetailShow Menu

Threadleaf Sundew Drosera filiformis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
dro-SEY-rah fil-ih-FOR-mis
Description

Sundew is a carnivorous plant that is capable of photosynthesis but acquires most of its nutrients through the digestion of insects. It has lavender-rose flowers on a leafless stalk rising from erect, thread-like, sticky, basal leaves that unroll in spirals. It is easy to cultivate and will form clumps which can be divided while dormant.

This striking member of the sundew family is distinctive, with its stringy leaves covered with glistening droplets of sticky exudate. Insects trapped in the sticky hairs are digested by plant enzymes. Southern plants are larger than the northern ones and the Florida Sundew has red stems. Varieties grow from Canada to Florida but Sundew is losing its habitat and becoming rare.

Plant in full sun with a planting mix of whole fiber sphagnum moss or a mix of equal parts peat moss and coarse vermiculite or sharp sand. They require constant moisture and some require winter dormancy for longevity. It can be grown in bog gardens or containers.

Habitat: Margins of natural pools in pinelands, especially clay-based Carolina bays

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'California Sunset'
  • 'Devil's Dozen'
'California Sunset', 'Devil's Dozen'
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#carnivorous#pink flowers#showy leaves#pond margins#endangered#native garden#bogs#Coastal OBL#Piedmont Mountains OBL#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'California Sunset'
  • 'Devil's Dozen'
'California Sunset', 'Devil's Dozen'
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#carnivorous#pink flowers#showy leaves#pond margins#endangered#native garden#bogs#Coastal OBL#Piedmont Mountains OBL#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Drosera
    Species:
    filiformis
    Family:
    Droseraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Nova Scotia to Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    CT , DE , MA , MD , NC , NJ , NY , PA , RI Canada: NS
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Carnivorous
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Description:
    Displays in August
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    White, pink, or scarlet flowers on 6-12 in. stalk, June, above a rosette of basal leaves; open for several hours in the morning.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Usually 4-8 leaves studded with dozens of slender, crimson or green-tipped filaments. Glands secrete a tiny droplet of clear mucilaginous substance on the ends of tiny tentacles that trap insects. Traps unfold 4-6 days after trapping an insect and die after 2-4 closings.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen