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Drosera rotundifolia (Roundleaf sundew)
Cressler, Alan

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia L.

Roundleaf Sundew

Droseraceae (Sundew Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

Insectivorous; white or pinkish flowers bloom near the bent end of a slender stalk that grows from a small basal rosette of reddish, sticky leaves.

The genus name, Greek for "dewy," refers to the moist, glistening drops on the leaves, to which small organisms stick. Longer-stalked glands near the edge of a leaf slowly bend inward, securing and placing an entrapped organism in the digestive area of stalkless glands. Sundews are able to survive on nutrient-poor soils where other plants are at a disadvantage. A similar species, the Spatulate-leaved Sundew (D. leucantha, currently considered synonymous with D. brevifolia), has oval or spoon-shaped leaves. The very similar, northern Narrowleaf Sundew (D. anglica) has much narrower, erect leaves and only grows as far south as northern Maine, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The Dwarf Sundew (D. brevifolia), which has wedge-shaped leaves with shorter stalks in a more compact rosette, is a more southerly species, occurring in damp areas from southern North Carolina to Florida, and west to Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas.


From the Image Gallery

41 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Flower scapes up to about 14 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , AL , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MS , MT , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: In the Sierra Nevada and northward; east from Washington across northern Montana and North Dakota and throughout eastern United States
Native Habitat: Swamps and bogs.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Aquatic: yes


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:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

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


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

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