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Sundew (Drosera binata Labill.)


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Sundew (Drosera binata Labill.)

© Johanna Laub

von Georg Zizka

The sundew species are herbaceous plants that attract and trap insects with their leaves. Glandular hairs with stalks and heads on the leaves secrete a sugary, sticky liquid that attracts insects, to which they stick and in which they suffocate. Now the plant releases digestive enzymes that break down the soft tissues of the trapped insect and absorb the nutrients through sessile glands.

Sundew species live in nutrient-poor habitats and can thus supplement their food supply. Drosera binata is characterized by the forked leaf blade. The plant grows to 40 cm tall, and its white flowers, about 0.6 cm across, are in racemose inflorescences. The species is native to Australia and New Zealand.

Georg Zizka is a professor of Biology and the former director of the Botanical Garden in Riedberg. This text was written in June 2023 for a pop-up exhibition within the conference "Sticky Films". The conference was organised by members of the PhD program Configurations of Film, and took Sara Ahmed's notion of 'stickiness' as a point of departure to discuss histories, theories and technologies of film-making.