Sundew flowering

Scented Sundew

There are changes that signal the coming of spring – the flowering of wattle and clematis, for example. And, the flowering of the Scented Sundew.

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The Drosera Aberrans – Scented sundew – is only a low growing plant, with gorgeously coloured leaves in reds and greens. The plants are dormant during the summer and have emerged from their tubers during autumn and winter, carpeting the ground in moist, clay spots. Here, they are generally found with mosses and lichens.

The flower has a sweet scent, although we couldn’t detect it – maybe because of the remains of a cold.

It seems that those plants growing in more shaded areas tend to be green, as illustrated below, although green also occurs in more sunny spots and reds also occur in more shady spots.

Shows Scented Sundew's green leaves, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Those in more shady areas seem more likely to be green – but this is not always the case

Shows range of red colouring in Scented Sundew, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

More colourful in the sun

Their source of nutrition – useful in the low fertility soil characteristic of the native bush here – is from the insects caught in the sticky liquid produced at the ends of the plant’s lamina. This dewy shine is where the name ‘sundew’ comes from.

Shows ant caught in Scented Sundew, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Insects are caught in the sticky ‘dew’ produced by the plant – see the ant near the centre of the image

The Scented sundew produces new plants mainly asexually. Stolons shoot near the soil surface and then burrow down into it, producing new plants.

Shows stolon arising from soil with Scented Sundew, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Stolon coming up from the tuber of the parent sundew, ready to burrow down to form a new plant

The Tall sundew can also be found in the Reserve and will flower – a pale pink colour – a bit later.

Shows Tall Sundew, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Tall sundew – shield shaped leaves – flowers later than the Scented sundew

Sources and further information

Lowrie, A. & Conran, J.G. (2008) A review of Drosera Whittakeri s. lat. (Droseraceae) and description of a new species from Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Telopea, 12 (2), pp. 147-165.

Victoria Carnivorous Plant Society (2014) Drosera aberrans, Victorian Drosera,

Drosera. (2014, August 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 17, 2014, from




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