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Drosera filiformis (Threadleaf sundew)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Drosera filiformis

Drosera filiformis Raf.

Threadleaf Sundew

Droseraceae (Sundew Family)

Synonym(s): Drosera filiformis var. filiformis


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A carnivorous plant with lavender-rose flowers in a 1-sided, elongated cluster on a leafless stalk, curved at tip, rising from erect, thread-like, sticky, basal leaves.

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. Researchers have found that substantial quantities of protein from the insects end up in the storage roots, demonstrating the importance of this source of nutrients. The southern plants are larger than the northern and are considered by some authorities to be the separate species D. tracyi. The genus name derives from the Greek droseros ("dewy") and refers to the sticky droplets on the leaves.


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Flower scapes up to about 10 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: CT , DE , MA , MD , NC , NJ , NY , PA , RI
Canada: NS
Native Distribution: Nova Scotia; New York and Massachusetts south to New Jersey and Pennsylvania; also in North Carolina and Florida.
Native Habitat: Wet, sandy, coastal areas.

Growing Conditions

Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Drosera filiformis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Drosera filiformis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Drosera filiformis


Record Modified: 2023-03-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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