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Plant of the Week: Drosera rotundifolia

Plant of the Week! You can see fall colors in the summertime if you get up close to a muskeg, which is a nutrient poor, water saturated peatland. Due to the high acidity and low nutrients, such environments are not very diverse, but many of the plants that live there are unique to such a place. One of these unusual plants is Drosera rotundifolia, Round-leaved Sundew. This is one of four of Wisconsin’s native sundews, and to fully appreciate it, you have to get close to the ground. Each leaf has many beautiful red trichomes that secrete a sticky substance that traps insects. The amount of carnivory the plants engage in is dictated by the nutrient conditions of their environment. According to Adirondack Wildflowers (http://wildadirondacks.org/adirondack-wildflowers-roundleaf-sundew-drosera-rotundifolia.html), “studies have shown that the proportion of nitrogen derived from carnivory varies from about a quarter to about half.”

 

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