DROSOPHYLLUM

 

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Drosophyllum lusitanicum

A SINGLE SPECIES

Drosophyllum lusitanicum

 

USUAL NAME

Portuguese sundew

FAMILY

Droseraceae

 
History and etymology

Since a long time, long before science gave a name to this plant, the village population of Lusitania, struck by the singular appearance and texture of sticky plant, used it as a flytrap. It is to A. Grisley, that belongs the honor of the first description,in 1661, calling it "Chamaeleontioides. Tournefort made a second description in the Portuguese flora under "Rossolis Lusitanicus maximus" in 1689. Its uniqueness and singularity, lead to giving the name of Drosophyllum in 1806 by to H. F. Link, from the Greek Drosos "dew" and phyllon "leaf".

Distribution

Located in southwestern Europe, and the extreme north of Africa, it grows in Portugal (Porto, Lisbon ...), through to southern Spain (Gibraltar) and the Morocco.

Biotope

Growing strictly in acidic conditions, the plant lives in pine forests on dry sandy or rocky soils. The climate is temperate, half-wet. The phytosociological alliances are often with Pinus pinea, Pinus pineaster, Calluna vulgaris, Erica sp. Note also the promiscuity, perhaps accidental, of some sites with human habitations.

Description

Perennial, half-woody, erected and branched plant, 40-60 cm high. Some specimens may reach more than 1 m. A strong smell of honey escapes from the plant. The yellowish green leaves, filiform, take place in the manner of fiddleheads. Traps are formed by the leaves and flower stalks that release through pedunculated glands, the glue that captures the prey. Sessile glands placed only on the foliar parts have the task to secrete enzymes.

The prey are often insects: Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera ...

The flowers of 2 to 4 cm in diameter, display a beautiful yellow color. Self-fertilization of the plant running.

The plant
and its seed capsule

Flower

Seed capsule

genlisea.jpg

drosera_mod2.jpg

utricula_mod2.jpg

 




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