Beautiful Sundew

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Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis)

Guess who bought 3 different sundews and a Pinguicula at The Montreal Botanical Gardens gift shop? I could not resist setting up a quick photo shoot yesterday afternoon before repotting them into nicer containers. Delicate and deadly sundews are my favourite carnivorous plants but are particularly difficult to find for sale here in Canada. In fact the last time I was able to purchase a sundew was on my last trip to this very greenhouse in 2004. At $5.99 a piece I could not resist buying one of each kind they sold.

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Venus fly traps, on the other hand are easy to come by, sold as a novelty plants at fall fairs and the impulse sections of home renovation stores but I do not care for them, finding them particularly difficult to keep alive for more than a few months stretch. If you’re going to choose a carnivorous plant to grow on a windowsill I recommend little bitty sundews. I find them to be more forgiving than flytraps and their jewel-like, dew-speckled leaves are a whole lot more interesting too.

Happy Halloween!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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9 thoughts on “Beautiful Sundew

  1. Thanks for the carnivorous plant tip. I’ll look out for sundews (I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve always felt dubious about Venus Fly Traps. Perhaps because they tend to die).

  2. There are lots of good suppliers in the US that will ship sundews to you… it’s just in Canada that the pickings are slim. I am still looking for an online seller and it is also important to look for sellers that are breeding the plants in greenhouses and are not pilfering them from the wild.

  3. That’s funny, because it’s almost the opposite here, traps are super easy as long as you keep the water up [and we've got such great tap water in our area that we can use that instead of distilled], then you just forget about them while they hibernate through the winter…

    I know you mentioned http://californiacarnivores.com/ in your book, I wanted to give them an additional shout — they’re a huge, wonderful nursery and well-worth the visit if you’re in northern California [and you can buy most everything online though I don't know about their international shipping...].

  4. Gwen: Your climate has the benefit of all that humidity and the temperatures don’t drop as low. Our indoor spaces tend to get very dry during the winter. I will add that my brother has had more success than me.

    I have ordered from California Carnivores but only while doing US events. Canadians can not order from them.

  5. Gayla, check out Keehn’s Carnivores http://www.keehnscarnivores.com – they’re based in the Okanagan and have a really good selection of sundews. I bought several venus flytraps from them, and they threw in a free sundew! Sadly it was dug up by a squirrel and didn’t make it. All my VFTs are doing great, but they live outside year-round. Every time I’ve tried to grow one inside, it’s died within a few months.

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