Scented Sundew (Drosersa Whittakeri)
Habitat: Woodlands, Mallee
Flowering Time: July to September but can be all year in some places
Description and uses:
Sundews are a fascinating group of plants. Their ground hugging leaves have hairs that end in a blob of sticky goo. That goo attracts small insects which get stuck. The insects die, then the plant releases enzymes that dissolve the insect so that its nutrients can be absorbed.
If you’re tempted to lick the leaves, they can range widely in taste from kind of sweet to slightly bitter. Don’t to try and eat the leaves though, they’re nasty!
The Scented Sundew, has as its name suggests a pretty scent that comes from the white flowers. There can be up to 6 flowers per plant, making the Sundew quite attractive when it is in full flower.
Scented Sundew leaves range from green to almost purple in colour and as the plants are happy to grow side by side in little huddles, they can form quite a mat in some places.
Scented Sundews can grow in quite a wide range of locations. Mostly, they like shaded, damp places with light, sandy soil but I’ve seen them growing in full sun on sandy loam.
The part of the Sundew used traditionally is the underground tuber. These can be used to make a red dye.