In a secluded valley in the Serra da Sao Mamede, Alto Alentejo, Portugal.

Drosophyllum lusitanicum, Erva pinheira orvalhada, Pinheiro baboso, (Slobbering Pine), Dewy Pine.

The drosophyllum lusitanicum is an unusual carnivorous plant which feeds on insects that stick to the gooey secretions on its leaves. It is commonly thought that this plant is restricted to the southern coastal areas of the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa where it survives the summer dryness by condensing morning fogs on the globdules of its leaves. Yet the altitude and position of the Parque Natural da Serra de Sao Mamede gives rise to the humidity required to support a population of these fascinating plants.

It is also known as Dewy Pine and in Portugal it has the charming nickname of Pinheiro Baboso which translates to Slobbering Pine. If you walk through the woods wearing shorts you might discover why.

drosophyllum lusitanicum bud

Drosophyllum lusitanicum is just about the most successful carnivorous plant in terms of the amount of prey it catches. Even the flower buds can catch flies.

drosophyllum lusitanicum flower

The delicate pale yellow flower.

drosophyllum lusitanicum young seed pod

The young seed pod supported by a reddened flower casing.

drosophyllum lusitanicum plant growing in schist rock

Carnivorous plants typically grow in soils which are low in nitrates. This colony thrives on bare crumbly schistous rock.

drosophyllum lusitanicum colony

Whilst some say conservation efforts are necessary to preserve this species, the Parque authority no longer consider drosophyllum lusitanicum to be endangered here. In this particular location near the Quinta there are about 200 plants.

detail of drosophyllum lusitanicum flower

Detail looking into a drosophyllum lusitanicum flower.

drosophyllum lusitanicum captured fly

Some leaves have much more success than others which suggests the decomposing prey attracts even more prey.

drosophyllum lusitanicum frond

Young leaves unfurl in fronds like ferns.