A Sticky Situation
It secretes glue, it moves and it eats bugs – hardly the way you’d expect a plant to behave, especially one with such a pretty name. This sundew’s reddish stems and leaves are covered with glands that secrete a clear mucilage that shines in the sun – hence the name. The glue attracts insects, which get stuck and then asphyxiate. As hours pass, the leaves slowly curl around the insects, eventually dissolving them with enzymes and absorbing the nutrients through the leaf surface. In Nova Scotia, the thread-leaved sundew has been found only in a few bogs in Shelburne County, where it gained notoriety as the plant that was responsible for halting fuel peat extraction in the 1990s.