Eat Me

I’ve been out doing a lot of birding lately, and while I’ve been doing that, I’ve also been shooting carnivorous plants when I see them. I just think they’re cool.

Carnivory in plants comes in many shapes and sizes and mechanisms. We’ve got a bunch of different species here, exhibiting several of those mechanisms. Pitcher plants, of which we have several species, use a pitfall trap, where insects are lured into a tube and fall into the bottom where there are digestive juices. The two species we see most around here are the yellow pitcherplant (Sarracenia flava)

 

YellowPitcher

 

and the purple pitcherplant (Sarracenia purpurea).

 

PurplePitcherBloom

 

And we’ve got several species of carnivorous plants that use several types of flypaper trap. The blueflower butterwort (Pinguicula caerulea) just rolls up its leaf around a stuck bit of prey.

 

Butterwort

 

The spoonleaf sundew (Drosera intermedia) uses tentacle-looking stalks to wrap up its prey.

 

Sundew

 

And our local darling is of course the highly endangered Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), which occurs natively only within about 100km of Wilmington, NC. Because it’s such a cool and rare plant, besides all the other crap humans are doing to endanger it, like wrecking the environment, the species is highly vulnerable to poaching.

 

VenusFlytrap