Drosera capensis

Cape Sundew

Drosera capensis¬†needs no introduction, the most famous of “Cape sundews” as its name implies. This large and charismatic species is found across most of the Cape mountains, from Gifberg in the North, through to the Cape peninsula, and eastward to the area around Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). This veritable behemoth (as most sundews go) grows in a splayed rosette with its leaves featuring extended rectangular petioles with occassional white hairs, connecting to the large glandular leaf that is as long, or longer than the petiole in most cases. Leaf and petiole length, width, shape, and proportion vary greatly vary by population. Some forms have long inter-leaf sections in the stem creating a taller plant. Colour also varies from golden green to intense red. This creates an endless variety of phenotypes between locations.¬†

Cape sundews can be found in permanently wet seeps, streamsides, and riverine areas from sea level all the way to the highest elevations of many Cape mountains. Like most of the perennial Cape species it flowers primarily in summer, but flowering can be observed at any time of year. It tolerates the frigid winter months of colder areas by dying back to a resting bud or regenerating from roots in spring.