, the tropical sundew
, is a small, compact species in the carnivorous plant
Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, typically insects and other arthropods. Carnivorous plants appear adapted to grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen, such as acidic...
. It normally spans only 2 cm (0.78740157480315 in) in diameter. It is one of the fastest trapping sundews as well, and its leaves can curl around an insect in only a few seconds, compared to the minutes or hours it takes other sundews to surround their prey. In nature, D. burmannii
is an annual
An annual plant is a plant that usually germinates, flowers, and dies in a year or season. True annuals will only live longer than a year if they are prevented from setting seed...
, but in cultivation, when grown indoors during the cold months, it can live for many years. Since D. burmannii
is an annual, it produces large amounts of seed. Drosera burrmannii
has been considered a powerful rubefacient
A rubefacient is a substance for topical application that produces redness of the skin e.g. by causing dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation. There is limited evidence as to their efficacy ; and as of 2010 the best evidence does not support using gels and creams...
in Hindu medicine.
is an herb that produces very short stems and leaves in a rosette
In botany, a rosette is a circular arrangement of leaves, with all the leaves at a single height.Though rosettes usually sit near the soil, their structure is an example of a modified stem.-Function:...
. Each wedge-shaped leaf is typically 8–10 mm long and 5–6 mm wide. White flowers are produced in groups of 3 to 10 on 6–15 cm (2.4–5.9 in) tall racemose
A raceme is a type of inflorescence that is unbranched and indeterminate and bears pedicellate flowers — flowers having short floral stalks called pedicels — along the axis. In botany, axis means a shoot, in this case one bearing the flowers. In a raceme, the oldest flowers are borne...
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Strictly, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified...
s, of which there can be one to three per plant.
It was first described by Johannes Burman
Johannes Burman , was a Dutch botanist and physician. Burman specialized in plants from Ceylon, Amboina and Cape Colony. The name Pelargonium was introduced by Johannes Burman....
in his 1737 publication on the flora of Ceylon. Burman used the species epithet zeylonensis
, but the species was not formally published until 1794 when Martin Vahl
Martin Henrichsen Vahl was a Danish-Norwegian botanist and zoologist.He studied botany in Copenhagen and in Uppsala under Carolus Linnaeus. He edited Flora Danica fasc. XVI-XXI , Symbolæ Botanicæ I-III , Eclogæ Americanæ I-IV and Enumeratio Plantarum I-II...
named it in honor of Burman as Drosera burmanni
(the species epithet is sometimes orthographically
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...
corrected to burmannii
). In 1871 Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach
Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach was an ornithologist, botanist and the foremost German orchidologist of the 19th century...
described a new species, D. dietrichiana
, which Ludwig Diels
Dr. Friedrich Ludwig Emil Diels , was a German botanist.Diels was born in Hamburg, the son of the classical scholar Hermann Alexander Diels. From 1900 to 1902 he traveled together with Ernst Pritzel through South Africa, Java, Australia and New Zealand. Shortly before the first world war he...
reduced to a variety of D. burmannii
in his 1906 monograph
A monograph is a work of writing upon a single subject, usually by a single author.It is often a scholarly essay or learned treatise, and may be released in the manner of a book or journal article. It is by definition a single document that forms a complete text in itself...
of the Droseraceae
Droseraceae is the botanical name for a family of flowering plants. The family is also known under its common name, the sundew family.It consists of carnivorous plants: besides the sundews, the genus Drosera, it also contains the even more-famous Venus fly trap Dionaea muscipula...
. The variety was described as being a larger and more robust plant than D. burmannii
. Both D. dietrichiana
and the variety are now considered synonyms of D. burmannii