1. Sun Dew (Drosera spathulata)
2. Although all plants require nitrogen for growth, none have the ability to fix nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, and most depend on bacteria to do the job for them. The Sundew, like other carnivorous plants, have evolved the ability to acquire nitrogen and other nutrients from predation on insects and other small arthropods. This ability allows them to survive in low nutrient soils such as bogs and marshes where this specimen was found.
In addition to being a great example of a species that can thrive under extreme conditions, the Sundew’s specific habitat requirements make it a useful indicator species. The presence of these picky plants in an area once used for farming and grazing, which often results in higher nitrogen levels in the soil, is a good sign that restoration efforts have been successful.
3. The New Zealand Sundews are a polyphyletic group; the closest
relative of each species are not present in New Zealand. This suggests
that there have been multiple colonizations by different taxa
relatively recently rather than a single colonization proceeded by
radiation, which would produce a monophyletic group. Most of the
closest relatives of the New Zealand Sundews are found in Australia.
4. Latitude: -46.887166, Longitude: 167.860107