Rosyanka - a predator plant that lures prey with its beauty
These are one of the most common plants among insectivorous counterparts. They grow around the world and have about 100 species, most of which live in Australia and New Zealand. Their typical representative is the sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), which can grow, including in the swamps of the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. The English gave the sundew the poetic name of sun-dew, that is, "sun dew."
In total, insectivorous plants number almost 500 species, grouped into six families. Their representatives are found in almost all parts of the world. In the European part of Russia, Siberia, the Far East, three species of these plants are found: sundew, round-leaved, or king’s eyes, sun dew, dewdrop (Drosera rotundifolia L.); sundew English or longleaf (Drosera anglica Huds.); sundew intermediate (Drosera intermedia Hayne.). These sundews, growing in temperate climates, can withstand cold winters by forming special tightly folded wintering buds. Such kidneys can be stored in an airtight bag in a small amount of sphagnum moss for four to five months.
Next, the sundew will be considered in more detail. Even from the pictures you can determine that the sundew got its name thanks to droplets of liquid that stand out on special hairs located on the leaves of this plant. Dewdrop is a perennial herb. In severe climatic conditions with a long winter, as already noted, this plant adapted in a special way: for the winter it forms special wintering buds that deepen into the thickness of the moss - sphagnum.
In early spring, when the snow melts and begins to warm the sun, annual shoots appear from these wintering buds. They are not long, thin and are located in the thickness of the moss itself. On the very surface of the sphagnum is a rosette of leaves, which on one plant can be more than a dozen. Leaves of sundew with long petioles, petioles can reach 5-6 cm in length. The leaves are small, about 1 cm in diameter. Each leaf is covered with a rather significant amount of thin reddish hairs. On each hair, especially on those hairs that are located along the edge and have a large length, there are droplets of liquid, which gave the name to this plant. It is these droplets of liquid that attract insects.
For a plant that appears on the surface so early, the sundew is blooming rather late. The flowers of this plant form in late June - early July. They are pollinated by pollinating insects, which risk falling into a trap consisting of hairs with droplets of liquid at their ends. To avoid this, the flower-bearing shoots on which the flowers are formed grow long enough (up to 25 cm) so that the insects that arrive behind the nectar do not come into contact with the cilia-traps.
On each flower-bearing shoot at the top, flowers bloom. The flowers are small, painted white or pinkish, collected in a small inflorescence - brush or curl. The flowers consist of five petals that look very tender white “clouds” against the background of the swamp and have nectaries to attract pollinating insects. Fruits are formed in late August - early September. They self-open with the help of three wings. Inside the fruit are very small spindle-shaped seeds. Having got enough sleep on the surface of the sphagnum, they deepen and germinate the very next year.
Some of the inquisitive and attentive readers, whose minds are constantly searching for universal truths, may not be impartial to judge: judging by the color of the leaves, the plants themselves produce nutrients during photosynthesis. Why, then, did they become predators and feed on insects? Did not Her Majesty outwit Nature, shamelessly extending the principles of predatory consumption to such a harmless world as plants?
You see, insect predators in the swamp lack minerals, but they want to live! So they make up for these substances from the bodies of insects killed by them (this is the version of scientists). Nice thing: billions of beautiful plants on planet Earth miraculously blossom to the joy of all living things, fertilize, bear fruit, multiply and benefit all living things, and these parasites live only for their pleasure!
“Why, we are so beautiful, and beauty requires sacrifice,” as they would tell us. And if all life on our Planet begins to act on this principle: is there anything missing in life - take it from a relative or neighbor? Or maybe this principle already works in the world of people? What do people still lack? True, this has long been clarified by classic writers: the human soul is so arranged, it is always small (Dostoevsky, for example). Forgive me, dear readers, for this not entirely lyrical digression.
Many amateur gardeners like predator plants, they are ready to collect them by growing on their windowsills and summer cottages to enjoy their beauty, and also recommend using these plants for medicinal purposes. Well then, let's continue. You can plant a sundew with the help of seeds, or you can transfer the plant itself directly to the soil on which it previously grew. The substrate into which the plant is planted is better prepared in advance from a mixture of peat and sand, because in nature this plant is used to growing on poor soils with a low mineral content.
It is recommended to water the plant using the lower watering. For this, a pot with sundew is placed in a tray in which water is constantly located. Spraying the plant should not be, this can lead to the washing off of the sticky substance located on the hairs of the plant. The plant should not be fed, because various additional nutrients can only harm it. And if the plant takes root in you, well, rejoice in its beauty!
It is believed that in folk medicine, sundew has been used since the Middle Ages. The spectrum of use of this plant, of course, is much wider than in scientific medicine. First of all, it is used for respiratory diseases. The set of such diseases in traditional medicine is also somewhat larger than in scientific. It is used for asthma and bronchitis, as well as for pneumonia, various colds, any cough, even of unknown origin, and also for tuberculosis. Sundew preparations are also used in diseases such as atherosclerosis, including atherosclerosis of the coronary vessels of the heart. They also use sundew for the treatment of epilepsy, candidiasis, for the treatment of headaches and colds.
The author of these lines himself did not have to grow flowers or care for them in his life, although he is well aware that people around the world are very enthusiastic about these plants. His childhood and youth passed in the forgotten peasant village of God, and childhood fell on the war years. In poor, hungry and cold peasant families, usually large families, where everything was held on the fragile shoulders of unhappy widows, life during the war was on the verge of survival. A lot of basic things were missing then.
Peasant children were deprived of textbooks, notebooks, pencils and ink pens. But in every peasant wretched house there were flowers on the windowsills. Flowers grew in the front gardens, although their wooden hedges have long been used for firewood. True, the peasant women had no time for exotic flowers. Here, apparently, your humble servant has since retained a reverent attitude towards flowers. And where do the predator flowers, you ask?
I explain: It is believed that a person as a rational creature began to develop since Adam and Eve, having sinned before God, tasted the fruit from the tree of knowledge, for which they were expelled from Paradise. Human consciousness, constantly evolving, more and more removed man from Nature. At some point, people began to imagine themselves as its rulers. True, then they came to the realization that nature had no jokes and should be handled very carefully. Especially human souls (by no means reason) are still held captive by its incomprehensible laws.
Here is an example for you: Which of the enlightened people does not know in our time that the relationship between a man and a woman should be harmonious, having in mind, first of all, their spiritual relationship. It seems that a reasonable person should know that beauty (whether women, men) can be predatory. How much has been said about this in fiction (take, for example, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Bestuzhev-Marlinsky). However, the mind is not able to fight the beauty-predator, and the human soul falls into its traps. And then, as psychologists like to say, human life goes downhill.
It turns out that Her Majesty Nature cannot be defeated by human reason. And then, argue, gracious readers, yourself: 1) about the bitter ups and downs of human relationships, including, and not just love ones (whether they were the fault of Madame Nature); 2) why Nature sets traps on the Planet such as: enjoy beauty, get intoxicating pleasure, revel in power or wealth and ... perish. In the meantime, let the killer plants bloom among amateur enthusiasts on the windowsills and flowerbeds as one of the mystery symbols of Nature: why is it sometimes cruel?