A Sticky Trap

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Carnivorous plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the sundew ranks as one of the tiniest. This red plant comes from the family of Drosera (Greek for “dewy”) and can be found in every continent in the world except Antarctica.

Sundew plants live close to the ground and have a sticky gel substance that looks like dewdrops on the ends of each tentacle. This gel attracts and then ensnares its prey as the digestive juices from the plant work to decompose the insect.

Unlike most plants that get water and nutrients from their root systems, the sundew can live in poor soil conditions and use its roots for moisture and securing itself to the ground, while insects provide real nutritional value.

These plants were found on the edge of swampy areas at both the UNF wildlife sanctuary area and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. Because they are about the size of a fingernail, it takes a keen eye to spot one of these carnivorous plants.

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