Drosera intermedia

Spatula Leaf Sundew

Spatula Leaf Sundew, Photo courtesy USDA Plants Database
Spatula Leaf Sundew
Photo courtesy USDA Plants Database

Flora, fauna, earth, and sky...
The natural history of the northwoods


  • Drosera, from the Greek, droseros (droseros), "dewy, watery"
  • intermedia, from the Latin, "intermediate"
  • Common Name, from the shape of the leaf
  • Other common names include: Oblong-leaved Sundew, Spoonleaf Sundew, Liden Soldug (Dan), Pikkukihokki (Fin), Rossolis intermédiaire (Fr), Dealt Ruaidhe (Gaelic), Mittlerer Sonnentau (Ger), Dikesoldogg (Nor), Småsileshår, Liten Daggört (Swe)


  • Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
    • Division Magnoliophyta, the Angiosperms (flowering plants)
      • Class Magnoliopsida, the Dicotyledons
      • Subclass Dilleniidae
        • Order Nepenthales
          • Family Droseraceae, the Sundews
            • Genus Drosera, the Sundews
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 22013


  • A short-lived, insectivorous perennial herb of open bogs
  • Leaves a basal rosette. Blades 2-3 times as long as wide; petioles smooth, ¾"-2" long. Upper surface of blades covered with reddish, glandular hairs tipped with a sticky, glutinous secretion that traps insects.
  • Stem
  • Roots
  • Flowers white, several borne on one side of a leafless stalk, the stalk growing from side of plant base and curving upward to 8" tall.
    • Sepals 5, 3mm-4mm long
    • Petals 5, white, 4mm-5mm long
    • Stamens 5
    • Pistil of 3 styles
  • Fruit a dry capsule containing many seeds
  • Seed tiny, red brown, and covered with small bumps, to 1mm long.


  • Unmistakable as a Sundew; nothing else like it in the North Country.
  • Distinguished from the other North Country Sundew, the Round Leaf Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) by the oblong, rather than round, leaf.


  • Circumboreal; Newfoundland to Minnesota, Montana, and Idaho.


  • Low places in open bogs, sandy shores; often in shallow water.
  • Very well adapted to the nutrient deficient "soils" of northern bogs.





  • Reproduces by seed and vegetatively by rhizomes
  • Flowers July-September


  • By rhizome division,


  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)
  • Cultural Requirements
    • Full sun preferred
    • Soil: Sphagnum peat moss or a mix with up to 50% sand.
    • Water must be continually available to the roots. Distilled or rainwater preferred; avoid hard or softened tap water.
    • Fertilization not needed or recommended. Plants are easily burned unless fertilizer is highly diluted.
  • Good for an acidic peat bog garden if you've got one. Can be grown in containers set in shallow trays of water.
  • Available by mail order from specialty suppliers.



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Last updated on 26 February, 2004