Killers in the mire

If you bring children to the New Forest chances are they will be fascinated if you show them the carnivorous plants that grow in the valley mires (bogs).

Drosera rotundifolia
Drosera rotundifolia

Most photos of ¬†Sundew show them up close and you might be encouraged to expect them to be chunky things as big as a cabbage and dangerous to small dogs and children…they aren’t, they are quite small just a few inches across the whole plant. Once you get your eye in you’ll see Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) in most of the wet boggy places.

Look closely and you easily see the sticky droplets on the leaf hairs that adhere to insects careless enough to land on one of the ‘leaves’. Look even closer at a mature leaf and you see the remnants of a meal with all the nutrients sucked out. The early Spring means the Sundews are already well developed (they die down during Winter). If the mires stay wet you can expect Sundew to thrive and get relatively large, they should flower well too. Around Furzehill you’ll mostly see the round leaved sundew as in the photo but in other parts of the New Forest there is the long leaved sundew and an intermediate form.