The leaves of Drosera cistiflora constitute the unusual, even sinister feature of this plant. The leaves are visibly covered in sticky glands and reddish tentacles. Every tentacle has at its tip a glistening drop of mucilage resembling morning dew, giving cause for the sundew common name.
The sweet mucilage secreted by the stalked glands attracts insects. This mucilage contains a gummy substance functioning as an adhesive and enzymes to digest captured insects. The thin tentacles bend towards the centre when touched by an intruder, holding on to insects landing on the leaves as best they can. There are further sessile glands on the leaves that absorb the nutrients yielded by captured insect bodies (KZN Wildlife Rhino Club News Oct 2010; Manning, 2009).