Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022
News Every Day |

Plant of the Month: Sundew

Sundews, alongside other meat-eating denizens of the plant kingdom like pitcher plants and the Venus flytrap, have long occupied a special place in botanical popular culture. They are among the most visually striking carnivorous plants, which attract, trap, kill, and derive nutrients from insect prey in a manner often unsettlingly similar to that of an animal predator. The name sundew is derived from the hundreds of sticky mucilaginous hairs covering each leaf. Once an insect lands on its surface, there is no hope of escape, and the leaf gradually curls around its quarry, suffocating it. Indeed, the macabre nature of their deadly traps has inspired countless individuals to take a closer look at these beautiful but deadly carnivores.

Sarah Featon, [Drosera arcturi; Drosera binata; Drosera auriculata; Haloragisalata.], ca. 1885, published in The Art Album of New Zealand Flora, watercolor. Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa, via Open Artstor.
With nearly 200 species found in the wild on every continent but Antarctica, sundews have long been integrated into the knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples from locales as far-flung as Indonesia, North America, and Australia. Several Indigenous peoples appear to have been intimately familiar with the plants’ murderous habits long before Europeans, and this carnivorous behavior influenced their cultural significance to many Indigenous communities. In Indonesia, the Toraja people of Sulawesi Selatan (South Celebes) believed that ants killed by the “suke-bombo” (a species of Drosera) housed the souls of dead ancestors.

On the other side of the world, Southern Kwakiutl medical practitioners in British Columbia used sundews as a dermatological aid and love charm. Traditionally, the corms of tuberous species have also been consumed as a delicacy by Australian Aboriginal peoples. The extent to which colonial explorers appropriated knowledge about these plants from Indigenous peoples will likely never be fully known, but we can today at least see glimpses of how disparate groups incorporated the sundew into their respective cultural practices.

Sundew (Drosera sp.): entire flowering and fruiting plant with seeds, 18th century, colored etching by Magdalena Bouchard. Wellcome Collection, via Open Artstor

It appears that plant carnivory and the possibility of nourishment from insect prey were not discussed until colonial encounters with the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) in North America. However, the plant’s medicinal “virtues” did not go unnoticed by early modern European herbalists such as John Gerard, who described it as “a rare and singular remedy for all those that be in a consumption of the lungs” in his 1597 Generall historie of plantes. There even seem to be some midges or gnats in Gerard’s accompanying engraving of the sundew, but this is likely a printing error, and he certainly did not recognize their significance to the plant’s nutrition. The first published image of the sundew (or any carnivorous plant for that matter) had appeared a few decades earlier in Rembert Dodoens’s 1554 herbal Crüÿdeboeck, a copy of which is held in the Dumbarton Oaks rare book collection.

Sundew, published in John Gerard, The herball, or, Generall historie of plantes, London, John Norton, 1597. Boston Public Library (archive.org), via Biodiversity Heritage Library

Several late eighteenth-century botanists attempted to make sense of the sundew. German physician and botanist Albrecht Wilhelm Roth devoted an entire chapter to the sundew as an ideal experimental subject for the investigation of “irritability” in leaves in his 1782 Beiträge zur Botanik. Roth was among the first to note the sensitivity of the sticky glandular hairs covering the leaves of the sundews Drosera rotundifolia and D. longifolia, which grew plentifully in his garden.

English naturalists were also grappling with the murderous habits of the sundew. In 1787 the English naturalist William Withering published the second edition of An Arrangement of British Plants, a bowdlerized version of Linnaean taxonomy that omitted any reference to sexual organs (i.e., pistils and stamens) in an attempt to make botany more suitable to a wider audience, in particular, women. His text brought Roth’s observations of the sundew to an English audience, corroborating them with accounts by Withering’s colleagues.

John R. Schaefer, Drosera capensis, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, 2020.

Erasmus Darwin, another notable English botanist and natural philosopher, discussed the sundew in the latter half of his two-part poem The Botanic Garden (1789). This text sought to display the Linnaean sexual system through poetic analogies of plant sexuality and human affairs, accompanied by Erasmus’s own botanical notes and observations. He was astonished at the beautiful destruction dealt by “Queen of the marshDrosera and other such murderous vegetables, but he erroneously claimed that they were simply defending themselves from would-be insect predators.

Erasmus Darwin’s grandson, Charles Darwin, was likewise enthralled. As early as 1860, soon after encountering the sundew Drosera rotundifolia on an English heath, the author of On the Origin of Species wrote, “I care more about Drosera than the origin of all the species in the world.” Darwin’s rigorous experimentation with the sundew and a slew of other carnivorous plants over the next decade and a half culminated in the publication of his monumental 1875 treatise on plant carnivory, Insectivorous Plants. His extensive correspondence with American naturalists, including Mary Treat and William Canby, contributed significantly to this work. Darwin’s son, Francis, in turn carried on his father’s legacy through his own experiments with Drosera.

Drosera rotundifolia, published in Charles Darwin, Insectivorous Plants, London, John Murray, 1875. Wellcome Collection, via Open Artstor

The sundew remains an organism of great scientific interest today. Ethnopharmacology as a field in part seeks to better understand modern uses for plant compounds found in traditional pharmacopeias. Scientists have only just begun to decipher the medicinal applications of the sundew, long prized for anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial chemical properties. Despite their global distribution, many species of sundew are threatened or endangered, and we may forever lose their untapped ethnopharmacological value. Indeed, two in every five plants are currently threatened by the global scale of anthropogenic climate change and habitat destruction.

Studies of the sundew have served to deepen our scientific understanding of the natural world, blurring the boundaries of taxonomic classification, galvanizing the spread of evolutionary theory, and yielding valuable ecological insights. Culturally, carnivorous plants have been used to challenge hierarchies of plant and animal life, as well as articulate social divisions of race, gender, and sexuality. They have been constantly redefined by the hugely diverse array of people struggling to make sense of them within various social and scientific contexts.

The Plant Humanities Initiative seeks to explore the unparalleled significance of plants like the sundew to human culture. Check out “Venus Flytrap: Queen of the Carnivorous Plants” on the Plant Humanities Lab to learn more about the fascinating history of carnivorous plants.


Support JSTOR Daily! Join our new membership program on Patreon today.

The post Plant of the Month: Sundew appeared first on JSTOR Daily.









Read also

Imran Khan says 'police brutality' on Azadi marchers 'condemnable and unacceptable'

Eduardo Ramirez Grinds Past Luis Melendez

Peseiro loses first game as Super Eagles coach, Mexico beat Nigeria 2-1


Прямой эфир РБК. Главные новости России и мира сегодня (Прямой эфир ежедневно)

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

Jake Paul slammed by Anderson Silva’s boxing coach who says YouTube star will ‘pay dearly’ if he fights UFC legend next

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here


News Every Day

Three More Victims of New York Market Shooting Laid to Rest 



Sports today


Новости тенниса
Уимблдон

Дарья Касаткина понимает решение Уимблдона отстранить россиян от участия в турнире



Спорт в России и мире
Москва

Горожанам расскажут, как открыть фитнес-студию в столице


Загрузка...

All sports news today




Загрузка...

Sports in Russia today

Москва

«Динамо» выпустило яркий промо-ролик к финалу Кубка России со «Спартаком»


Новости России

Game News

В Москве собрались 300 суперфиналистов конкурса управленцев «Лидеры России»


Russian.city


Москва

Газ под контролем


Губернаторы России
#123ru.net

Работа в условиях COVID-19, телемедицина и геймификация: на Форуме "Оргздрав 2022" наградили лидеров отрасли


Выставка «КиноКоломенское» открылась в музее-заповеднике

Гранты для предприятий в Москве при трудоустройстве новых сотрудников

Технополис «Москва» будет выпускать тест системы, определяющие наличие гриппа или COVID-19

За последние сутки в Петербурге выявили 257 новых случаев коронавируса


Квинтет Игоря Бутмана выступит с молодыми музыкантами на фестивале «Таврида.АРТ»

Валерий Кипелов ответил на критику солиста «ДДТ» Юрия Шевчука

Квинтет Игоря Бутмана выступит с молодыми музыкантами на фестивале "Таврида.АРТ"

Мариинская водная система или «Мариинка»


Медведев вышел в четвертый круг "Ролан Гаррос"

Александр Зверев прокомментировал 10-й подряд выход во вторую неделю на турнирах "Большого шлема"

Ига Свёнтек сыграет в четвёртом круге Открытого чемпионата Франции

Ига Свёнтек - единственная теннисистка топ-10 на второй неделе "Ролан Гаррос"



Родным погибших при исполнении силовиков вручили ключи от автомобилей в Москве

Петербург почти вдвое опередил Москву по новым заражениям ковидом

Мероприятие, приуроченное к 350-летия со дня рождения Петра I, прошло при поддержке Минкультуры РФ и Российского Фонда культуры

В Москве за сутки коронавирусом заразились 267 человек


Пятница в Карелии: жёсткое ДТП, встреча с Путиным и лесной пожар

Производитель прицелов для спортивных винтовок «Зенит» получил в Подмосковье земельный участок за 1 рубль

НАСТРОЙТЕСЬ НА ИГРУ НОВОГО УРОВНЯ С МОНИТОРАМИ ЛИНЕЙКИ LG ULTRA GEAR 2022

Певец Данко показал свою виллу в Ялте: видео


Химки - СКА Хабаровск: смотреть онлайн, прямая трансляция 28 мая 2022

Дело завели на воспитателя детсада в Одинцово, избившего ребенка до сотрясения мозга

Всероссийский любительский турнир по футболу среди женских команд прошел в Химках

Американские дипломаты заявили, что в США высоко ценят культурное наследие России



Путин в России и мире







Персональные новости
Russian.city

Ренат Ибрагимов

Ренат Ибрагимов Не забывай (1975)



News Every Day

Basic thin burger patties, grill or pan




Friends of Today24


Загрузка...
Музыкальные новости
"Воскресенье " Олег Митяев



Персональные новости
Близкий друг Путина миллиардер Пугачев. Вся правда о Путине, его семье и деньгах. В гостях у Гордона (2021)

Навальный об уволенном за пост священнике (2021)

Slava Marlow – суперуспех и депрессия в 21 год / вДудь (2021)

Обнаглевшие дети путинской элиты (2021)

Дайте собакам мяса (новый звук) -Владимир Высоцкий

Группа "Рождество" - песня "Так хочется жить!" (Видео с концерта в Киеве группы "РОЖДЕСТВО" в 2011 году в Доме офицеров)

Adriano Celentano Любимая песня Челентано (высочайшая энергетика) talentTV


Moscow.media