Photo: Drosera linearis

Drosera linearis Goldie

Slender-leaved Sundew

Habitat: Circumneutral fens and wet limy shores. [Open wetland, not coastal nor rivershore (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: British Columbia to Quebec, Newfoundland to the Gaspe and Maine; Minnesota to Michigan; local through most of range.

Aids to Identification: Slender-leaved sundew is a small, tufted, insectivorous plant closely related to our more common round-leaf and spatulate-leaf sundews (D. rotundifolia & D. intermedia, respectively). The leaves, however, are linear, i.e. long and narrow, not at all rounded. The plant is easily recognized by the leaf shape. Like all sundews, the leaves are covered with sticky hairs which exude drops of a viscous fluid. The flower, opening in sunshine, is white and five-petalled.

Ecological characteristics: Drosera linearis is a species restricted to fens and wet shores where an abundance of calcium (lime), and perhaps other minerals, is present. In Maine, the plants grow only in the wettest portions of a calcareous fen, which in itself is contained in a larger peatland. Like other sundew species, Drosera linearis is insectivorous; it receives part of its nutrients by capturing and digesting insects.

Phenology: Perennial or biennial; flowers in late July in Maine, seeds mature in late summer.

Family: Droseraceae

Synonyms: None noted.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Aroostook.

Reason(s) for rarity: Unknown. At least in Maine, scarcity of suitable habitat, and at southern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Known populations are small, and subject to the vagaries of small populations like random fluctuations or localized disturbance events.