Drosera anglica

leaf Main Plant Information

Genus

Drosera

Species

anglica

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Mikinalo

Hawaiian Names

  • Mikinalo

Common Names

  • English sundew
  • Great sundew

Synonyms

  • Drosera longifolia

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status

Indigenous

Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Clumping

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Herbaceous, Short, Less than 1

Mature Size, Width

Tropical forms, such as the Hawaiian form, of Drosera anglica are generally smaller than the temperate forms. Large specimens can reach 2-3 inches high. Plants should not form a stem as do temperate forms. [2]

Life Span

Short lived (Less than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Container
  • Indoor

Additional Landscape Use Information

Mikinalo would not be suitable for the average outdoor landscape and are usually grown as a novelty.

Source of Fragrance

  • No Fragrance

Plant Produces Flowers

Yes

leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • White

Blooming Period

  • Summer

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

If fed, mikinalo will flower when very young from seed. If you feed them a lot, they will produce an abundance of large seeds. [2]

Always feed mikinalo with insects, NEVER with meat such as chicken, beef or pork or the like. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Red

Additional Leaf Color Information

Leaves are light green or yellowish-green with bright red dew drops.

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

If grown outdoors, keep slugs and snails in check. These can do great damage to the plants in a short time.

Mold or fungus can grow on insects not utilized by the plants. So be sure these are removed if plant does not digest them.

leaf Growth Requirements

Fertilizer

Always feed mikinalo with insects, NEVER with meat such as chicken, beef or pork or the like. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

DO NOT USE FERTILIZERS with mikinalo as it will severely harm or kill them. Carnivorous plants, such as mikinalo, get nutrients from the prey they trap and do not require extra fertilzers. They will attract insects themselves but an occasional tiny insect can be supplemented. Again, never use raw meat as a substitution for insect prey.

Feeding is vital to growth. If not fed, will grow very slowly and will produce very few flowers. Keep food size small to tiny to avoid mold. [2]

Pruning Information

The brown leaves may be carefully trimmed away if mold appears. This especially occurs after capturing prey. However, if there is no indication of mold, they may be allowed to remain on plant and thus ensuring full value of nutrients by each leaf. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

  • Wet

Additional Water Information

Mikinalo need constant moisture to survive. The water quality must be pure, such as distilled or rain water. Tap water without filtration should generally be avoided.

Also, DO NOT use alkaline or Kangen water! This water with its added minerals has a very high pH, which is exactly what you do not want for sundews or another carnivorous plants. Sundews need to be provided with as mineral-free water as possible. [6]

A shallow water tray can be placed under the pot but water level should never cover the crown of new growth in the center of the plant. Still, change the water frequently.

Soil must be well drained

No

Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Mikinalo, as with most sundews, do best in very bright light or full early morning sun. Best to avoid the hottest sun in afternon. Remember to keep the pots moist or wet at all times.

Spacing Information

Not a critical factor, but perhaps a three or so a few inches a part to show case each plant.

Tolerances

  • Waterlogged Soil

Limitations

Not a general landscape plant.

These plants should never be grown in the average commercial potting soil. Many contain fertilizers and other non-essential ingredients that will kill sundews. Because sundews (Drosera spp.) grow in nirogen deficient and nutrient poor soils, please keep in mind that they primarily get their nutrients from the prey they capture and digest and not from the soil. [5]

Rather, use an equal mixture of peat moss and perlite, or peat moss and/or horticultural sand.*

* Never use beach sand or builders sand, which retain salts and will guarantee a speedy death for these salt-sensitive plants!

Please see Special Growing Needs below.

Special Growing Needs

Keep mikinalo above 60°F. If subjected to low enough temperatures for an extended time, dormancy could be encouraged. Plants can handle temperatures above 90°F. Though temperate forms of Drosera anglica will experience dormancy, the tropical forms such as those in the Hawaiian Islands, do not require this and can be grown year round. [2]

Aaron May notes a growing method for this tropical sundew. Citing Sherwin Carlqusit, he writes that "Most bogs in Hawai`i contain mud, small pockets of standing water, and tussocks formed from grasses and sedges (Carlquist 1970)." [2,5] May then adds, "This mud is basically comparable to waterlogged peat. Even though the non-native "sphagnum moss is only found in bogs on the Kohala bogs on the island of Hawaiʻi," tropical Drosera anglica still grow well in sphagnum moss." [2]

Certainly they are associated with sphagnum in many parts of their worldwide range. [1]

Aaron May says "a mix of 1 peat: 1 sand: 2 live sphagnum moss is my favorite mix. This keeps the plant healthy and allows the live sphagnum to thrive." [2]

Please see Growth Requirements.

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

No data available.

Habitat

  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

This species (Drosera anglica) is a common species and ranges across the northern temperate regions of North America (Canada, Alaska), Europe, and Asia, but is found as far south as Spain, Japan, California, and the Hawaiian Islands.

Common in bogs on the island of Kauaʻi. Mikinalo, as with other sundews, are typically found growing in wet, nutrient deficient "soils." One source records a low elevation range of 555 feet (169 m). [4]

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Mikinalo (Drosera anglica), a member of the Sundew family (Droseraceae), consists of about 200 species from temperate to tropical regions worldwide. This is the only carnivorous plant native to the Hawaiian Islands. The form found in the islands is distinct from those found in the northern hemisphere.

Etymology

The generic name is derived from the Greek droseros, dewy, refers to the reddish dew-like droplets on the leaves produced by the glandular hairs.

The specific epithet anglica is Latin for England, scientifically described by William Hudson in 1778, London, England. [1,3]

Hawaiian Name:

Mikinalo literally means "to suck flies."

Background Information

This interesting plant is indigenous and likely got to the Hawaiian Islands by seeds embedded in the muddy feet of migrant shorebirds from Alaska, such as Lesser golden-plover (Pluvialis dominica). [5]

Sundews produce droplets that ensnare insect prey to extract and digest the nutrients from their tiny victims.

The plants from Kauaʻi are smaller and more compact plants compared to other D. anglica forms. Too, they do not experience a winter dormancy as do the northern plants.

So, Here's the Drama:

The leaves of sundews are covered with mucilaginous (sticky) glands, uh, we'll call "tentacles." These tentacles are used to attract, trap and digest arthropods (insects, spiders). The insect, let's say a gnat, is initially attracted by the bright red dots of dew. The gnat, thinking this will be a nectar source, alights on the viscous leaf only to find it has been duped into a false hope. Perhaps only a leg or two get stuck and may be able to get away unharmed. But as the gnat struggles, another leg is entrapped, then another. With time, the wings, the abdomen and finally becomes so bogged down with the gluey dewy leaf that the critter can hardly move. The tentacles slowly, but methodically, begin folding over the gnat. Sometimes you can actually witness the movement of the tentacles. It will eventually totally cover the critter in what looks like "gnats-in-a-blanket." This is done for maximum digestion. But, by this time the unfortunate gnat has died of exhaustion or asphyxiation. Sadly, the gnat will never be able to learn from its mistake. Once the sundew has digested its prey, the leaf will unfurl, leaving only the exoskelaton (bugs wear their skelaton on the outside) to be washed off by rain or blown away by the wind. The tentacled leaf produces more beautiful red dots of arthropod-terror, now poised for another naïve victim.

Modern Use

This species is currently being grown by few individuals as a novelty.

Mikinalo does not appear to have any commercial landscape value. In a typical backyard Hawaiian garden, this species would not survive. However, these carnivorous plants do well in an indoor environment with sufficient moisture, food, and bright lighting.

However, it is such a fascinating plant that it is hoped that our native form will be grown more.

Additional References

[1] "Drosera anglica Huds. (English sundew): A Technical Conservation Assessment" by Evan C. Wolf, Edward Gage, and David J. Cooper, Ph.D., pages 10-11.

[2] GrowSundews.com http://www.growsundews.com/sundews/anglica_tropicals.html#Habitat_Information

[3] "Celebrating Wildflowers, Plant of the Week" http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/drosera_anglica.shtml [Accessed 8/3/11]

[4] "Back to the Future in Caves of Kauaʻi--A Scientist's Adventures in the Dark" by David A. Burney, pages 71-72.

[5] "Hawaii: A Natural History" by Sherwin Carlquist, pages 88, 347, 349, 351.

[6] Sarracenia Northwest, Jeff Dallas http://www.cobraplant.com/

leafMore Links

Back to Plant List

Plant List

This record is as complete as we can generate for this plant profile at this point. Please email nativeplantshawaii@gmail.com if you wish to contribute to the data. Please include sources and references for all data submitted