Drosera capensis 'Red'
Introducing Drosera capensis 'Red' - The Striking Red Cape Sundew
Drosera capensis 'Red' is a captivating variety of the Cape sundew, hailing from the Cape of South Africa. As the name suggests, this form of D. capensis exhibits a predominantly red coloration throughout the entire plant, including the hairs. This perennial herbaceous plant produces strap-like leaves that can reach up to 1.4 inches in length (excluding the petiole) and 0.2 inches in width. Like other sundews, the leaves of 'Red' are adorned with brightly colored tentacles covered in sticky mucilage, serving as efficient traps for arthropods. Forming a rosette with a diameter of 7 to 10 inches, Drosera capensis 'Red' showcases numerous reddish glandular eruptions on elongated leaves measuring 2.8 inches in length and 0.2 inches in width.
In its native habitat in South Africa, this stunning sundew blooms during the summer months of December and January. Its racemose inflorescences can grow up to 14 inches tall, bearing more than 50 pale-violet flowers that are over 0.8 inches in size. The flowers of 'Red' have the remarkable ability to self-pollinate upon closing, resulting in the production of copious quantities of very small, spindle-shaped seeds. These seeds are released from capsules that form after the flowers have withered. Drosera capensis 'Red' thrives in locations with full sun exposure and nutrient-poor, waterlogged, and lime-free soils, showcasing its resilience in challenging growing conditions.
When insects become trapped, the leaves of Drosera capensis 'Red' roll lengthwise toward the center, aiding in digestion by bringing more digestive glands into contact with the prey. Within an hour, the leaf completely envelops the captured prey, while the tentacles continue to move, further securing the capture. Digestion of the prey takes well over 6 hours from the moment of ensnarement. It is noteworthy that this sundew has a tendency to retain dead leaves from previous seasons, and over time, the main stem can become long and woody.
The captivating digestive secretions produced on the tentacles of Drosera capensis 'Red' entice and lure unsuspecting insects. The secretion acts as a visual signal, shining in the sun and through the red tentacle tips. Additionally, it serves as a chemical attractant, drawing insects closer to their demise.
Once a victim becomes ensnared in the secretion, the tentacles near the prey bend toward it until a portion of the tentacle-covered leaf wraps around the animal. Secreted enzymes initiate the digestion process, gradually breaking down the insect until only the chitin remains. Nutrient absorption occurs through the red tips of the tentacles, where the secretion itself is produced. If the victim decomposes to a point where the plant can no longer extract further nutrients, the leaf and tentacles return to their original position, ready to capture their next prey.
To provide optimal care for Drosera capensis 'Red,' it is recommended to place the plant in full sun and ensure that it sits in a dish with approximately 2 inches of water at all times. This carnivorous plant is not cold hardy and should be protected from freezes to maintain its well-being. Additionally, Drosera capensis 'Red' is a suitable choice for terrariums with proper lighting, adding a striking and unique element to these enclosed environments.
Embrace the striking beauty of Drosera capensis 'Red' and marvel at its fascinating trapping mechanisms. With its vibrant red coloration and alluring characteristics, this sundew is a captivating addition to any carnivorous plant collection or the enchanting world of terrariums.
Small plants come in a 3" pot
Medium plants come in a 4" pot
Large plants will come in a 5" pot