Drosera brevifolia

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Drosera brevifolia
Drosera brevifolia Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Nepenthales
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Drosera
Species: D. brevifolia
Binomial name
Drosera brevifolia
DROS BREV dist.jpg
Natural range of Drosera brevifolia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Dwarf sundew

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Drosera leucantha Shinners.[1]

Varieties: none.[1]


Drosera brevifolia is a carnivorous plant.

Generally, for the Drosera genus, they are an "annual or a perennial, rosulate, scapose herbs. Leaves with tentacle-like, glandular trichomes, the glistening, sticky secretion of each gland contributing to the insect-catching function of the leaf, and to the common name. Flowers perfect, actinomorphic, 5-merous; sepals and petals persistent, enclosing the capsule; stamens 5; ovary syncarpous, superior, 1-locular. Capsule valvate, seeds minute."[2]

Specifically, for. D. brevifolia, the species has "leaves that are obovate to spatulate, cuneate, 7-16 mm long including the indistinct petiole. Scape glandular pubescent, 2-6 cm long; pedicels and calyces glandular pubescent; corolla white, sometimes tinged with pink, 5-7 mm long. Seeds black, irregularly obovoid, less than 0.5 mm long, minutely reticulate." [2]


Ranges from east Texas to Florida and north to Virginia.[3]


D. brevifolia is an insectivorous plant with hairs on the basal leaves that produce a clear sticky liquid that attracts and traps insects.[4]


D. brevifolia occurs in moist to wet, sandy or peaty soils. It also seems to prefer more open conditions that provide higher light levels.[5] It can be found in longleaf pine communities,[6] pine-saw palmetto flats, open glades, and at the margins of marshes, grass-sedge bogs, ponds, and swamps. It also occurs in some disturbed areas that are moist and open, including power line corridors, cutover pinewoods, roadside ditches, open fields, and mowed lawns.[5]

Associated species include Aristida stricta, Helianthus radula, H. heterophyllus, Pinguicula lutea, Drosera capillaris, Sarracenia psittacina, Polygala, Pinguicula pumila, Utricularia, longleaf pine, pine, saw palmetto.[5]

Drosera brevifolia is frequent and abundant in the Central Florida Flatwoods/Prairies, Peninsula Savannas, and Panhandle Seepage Savannas community types as described in Carr et al. (2010).[7]


D. brevifolia has been observed flowering in March through May and in October with peak inflorescence in April.[5][8]

Seed dispersal

It is found in the seed bank of disturbed and non-disturbed sites.[6]

Seed bank and germination

It was found viable and almost ubiquitous in the seed bank of a pine flatwoods community in Florida after more than 30 years of fire exclusion.[9]

An early 2000s study found that while D. breviolia is found in the seed beds of pine flatwoods soils, it is absent from the seed banks in soils of old agricultural fields.[10]

Fire ecology

This species occurs in habitat that burns frequently.[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 516-7. Print.
  3. [[1]]Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed: April 29, 2016
  4. [[2]]Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Accessed: April 29, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: James R. Burkhalter, Loran C. Anderson, Robert K. Godfrey, Robert Kral, L. B. Trott, Kathy Craddock Burks, Harry Alden, Loran C. Anderson, Douglas Newton, Philip Greear, H. K. Svenson, B. H. Warnock, C. J. Hansen, C. M. Morton, Lisa Keppner, Ed Keppner, D. S. Correll, Helen B. Correll, E. C. Ogden, H. K. Svenson, and A. E. Radford. States and Counties: Florida: Escambia, Gadsden, Liberty, Jackson, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Leon, Bay, Calhoun, Nassau, Wakulla, and Washington. Georgia: Grady, Bulloch, Bartow, and Thomas. Tennessee: Coffee. Texas: Austin, Hardin, and Freestone. Alabama: Lee and Mobile. North Carolina: Hyde.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cohen, S., R. Braham, et al. (2004). "Seed bank viability in disturbed longleaf pine sites." Restoration Ecology 12: 503-515.
  7. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  8. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 8 DEC 2016
  9. Maliakal, S.K., E.S. Menges and J.S. Denslow. 2000. Community composition and regeneration of Lake Wales Ridge wiregrass flatwoods in retlation to time-since-fire. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 127:125-138.
  10. Jenkins, Amy Miller. Seed banking and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in pasture restoration in central Florida. University of Florida. 2003.