This genus consists of about 90 species found throughout Europe and Asia extending southwards in to Japan.

They are also found in North America with a high concentration of species found in Mexico and disjunct species in Central and South America.

These plants typically form a rosette of flat and often rather succulent light green leaves, which have a dense covering of thousands of tiny stalked glands, each topped with a globule of mucilage.

This glue when touched, gives the leaf a greasy feel and it is this characteristic which gives rise to the plants common name and latin names.

Small insects (rarely larger than tiny houseflies) become overwhelmed by the glue upon landing on the leaf and are suffocated when their breathing pores become blocked.

Digestive enzymes are then released on to the insects body and breakdown the soft parts before being absorbed. Most species do not have the power of movement, but some of the European plants are able to curl the margins of their leaves to prevent the loss of prey items and enzymes.