“A small rosette herb, about 30mm wide.”NPOS p.164
The Common Sundew is a small ground herb, it has remarkable leaves that are covered in coarse red hairs and tipped with a clear sticky fluid. When small insects get stuck the leaves roll up and the insect in consumed. In this way the Sundew is able to supplement it’s diet by providing nitrogen that is lacking in sandy soils.
The Sundew is a small plant and easy to miss unless you are really looking. They are not rare but I’ve only found them growing in a few areas on sandy / clayey soil that is wet year round.
While I’m on the topic of orchids these Rock Orchids grow on several rocks in the front yard. Like the Tongue Orchid they too are hardy plants ( you would have to be to survive in my garden ! ) and survive hot dry summers perched on the rocks with no watering. They are supposedly rare in the Sydney area so I wonder if they were planted by a previous owner.
“A remarkably hardy little rock-orchid, common on exposed sandstone cliffs and also in moist mossy gullies” – NPOS p.262
Tom has not been sleeping well the last few weeks, late to bed and early to rise. We went down to the river together for an early walk which gave me the chance to finally take a picture of this tongue orchid. They are meant to be a common plant but I can’t recall seeing another one in the area. This particular one is growing on a sandstone boulder in a gully near a small creek. It really must be a hardy plant to be able to survive clinging to bare rock.
In dry times the furrows in the thick leaves deepen and they turn a purple colour. When the rain comes the leaves puff up and turn green. We’ve had a lot of rain in the last month hence the green colour of the leaves in the photo.