Sundew, any plant in the sundew family. Sundews have leaves that produce a sticky fluid enabling them to trap and digest insects. (This same fluid makes the leaves glisten like dew—hence their name.) Sundews are found throughout the world in regions with mild or tropical climates. The round-leaved sundew (genus Drosera) is the most common, thriving in wet marshy areas. Its thin, curving stem grows to a height of 4–10 in (10–25 cm) and has small white or pinkish flowers on top. The base of the stem has flat round leaves covered with gland-tipped hairs, which produce the sticky fluid that attracts insects. When an insect lands on the leaf, the tiny hairs curve around it and hold it while the fluid engulfs and suffocates it. Enzymes in the fluid digest the insect, after which the hairs unfold, ready to trap the next victim.
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