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Perennial or annual (not in Guianan species) insectivorous herbs; acaulescent or caulescent. Stems 0.1-10 cm long, aerial. Leaves generally basal, stipules (absent in some extra-Guianan species) intrapetiolar, 4-7-partite; petiole grading into blade or well defined, hairy or glabrous; blade obovate to circulate (linear in some extra-Guianan species), hairy or glabrous, margin bearing glandular hairs. Inflorescences generally one-sided cymes, (1)-6-15-(25)-flowered, sometimes flowers solitary; peduncle up to 20 cm long, slender, erect or curved near base, with glandular hairs, non-glandular hairs or glabrous; bracts along peduncle and sometimes one by flowers. Flowers perfect, open for a short time only, sometimes cleistogamous; sepals ovate or narrowly ovate, free or joined at base, margin entire or glandular, with glandular hairs, non-glandular hairs or glabrous without; petals free, white or pink, spathulate or obovate, alternate with stamens, margin entire; ovary with 3 styles, bipartite at base, rarely 5 and unbranched. Fruits dehiscent papery capsules; seeds numerous, minute, foveolate, foveolate-reticulate, reticulate or papillose, narrowly oblongoid, obovoid to circulate.


Cosmopolitan present, Guianas present, Neotropics present
Cosmopolitan, 120 species; about 25 species in the Neotropics, 8 in the Guianas.

Common Name

English: sundew


Seine & Barthlott (1994) published an infrageneric classification of Drosera, based on the previous one of Diels (1906) and Planchon (1848). They recognized three subgenera, the largest one is subgenus Drosera, the only one present in the Neotropics. This subgenus is divided into eleven sections, but only three are present in the Neotropics. The cosmopolitan section Drosera includes almost all the neotropical species, except D. sessilifolia in the section Thelocalyx and D. meristocaulis Maguire & Wurdack in the monotypic section Meristocaulis (endemic to Cerro de La Neblina, Venezuelan-Brazilian border).