Cape sundew

Drosera capensis

Cape sundew

Cape sundew

Legal Status: Unwanted Organism - BNZ
Status in New Zealand: Established
Organism: Land plants


Cape sundew is a perennial, with linear leaves up to 6.5 cm long, arranged in a basal rosette. The leaves are densely covered with tentacle-like hairs, each tipped with a sticky sap that attracts and captures small insects. Leaves curl around captured prey and then enzymes are secreted to digest it. Cape sundew is easily distinguished from New Zealand native species. It has dark-pink flowers borne in long flower spikes, whereas the New Zealand plants do not.


Cape sundew grows well in a range of New Zealand wetlands, displacing small native plant species. It spreads rapidly by seed.

What to do

Contact your regional council to determine the status of this species and responsibility for control and/or advice on control.

Page last updated: 19 June 2008