) is an insectivorous plant in the family Byblidaceae, native to Australia. It can be found growing in bogs, marshes, shallow freshwater lagoons, and seasonally wet sandy soil, in partial or direct sunlight. Rainbow plant is delicate and often appear as frosted sprays of water, and glitters in sunlight with multicolored hues. When light shine under the right lighting conditions and viewing angle, the mucilaginous droplets will sparkle in rainbow color, thus the common name Rainbow Plant.
Rainbow plant is and annual herbaceous plant, with an erect, unbranching central stem, up to 45 cm long, supported by fine, fibrous roots. It is able to support its own weight when the plant is small, < 5cm tall. As it grow bigger and longer, rainbow plant will require support from neighboring structures to remain straight. The plant will topple over and grow horizontally along the water surface and ground, with the growth tip facing upwards.
Rainbow plant grows in semi-aquatic conditions and uses its stalked mucilaginous glands found on the leaf surface to attract, trap, and digest insect prey to supplement the environment's poor nutrient supply. The leaves are 2-4 cm long, elongated and narrow, and tapering at the end. Young leaves are upright and bright green. As the leaves age, they will turn darker and eventually to maroon color and droop. Apart from attracting and trapping insect, the leaves also help in holding on to the support structures.
The deep purple flowers are born singly on the apex of the 1.5-3 cm long stems, which are similar in appearance to the long leaves. The fruits are egg-shaped, 2.5-4 mm by 3-4 mm, two-parted seed capsules, containing 1-1.3 mm round black seeds that are often with webbed surface markings. Mature seed capsules will dry out and dehisce, releasing the seeds on the water surface or the ground.
Rainbow plant (Byblis aquatica)
The flower of Rainbow plant (Byblis aquatica).
The seed capsule of Rainbow plant (Byblis aquatica).