Carnivorous plants have been defined as predacious flower plants that kill an animal or animals to get food and nutrition from their bodies. It has three attributes that make them distinct from other plants and these are: they capture their prey and eventually kill them, they have a technique of digesting their prey, and lastly, they derive nutritional benefits from it.
In other words, carnivorous plants eat things like insects and other small vertebrates. They have a specialized technique usually in their leaves that act as a trap to capture their prey. Many of these traps are visible on leaf extensions. Once they have captured and killed their prey, they then digest it. Their bodies start to get the nutrients and distribute it to enhance their growth. But one thing that you need to know is that not all plants who trap animals are carnivorous. Some capture animals for pollination like Aristolochia species.
Kinds of Traps Used by Carnivorous Plants
- Pitfall traps – this trap is used by pitcher plants and is usually characterized by their slippery leaves, and deep pools covered with enzymes.
- Snap Traps – an example of this is the Venus Flytrap wherein its leaves will instantly close or shut down when its hairs are triggered by any motion.
- Suction Trap – the leaves of this trap is formed like a bladder and with many trigger hairs
- Lobster-pot Traps – you can usually find this on a corkscrew plant
- Flypaper – this usually a sticky trap and its leaves produces a sticky fluid
Some of the Examples of Carnivorous Plants and Flowers
- Venus Flytrap. The scientific name of this pant is Dionaea muscipula and a member of the sundew family. It is a type of a perennial carnivorous plant that is known for their unique characteristic of catching their prey and digesting it, including other small animals. This plant is a native to the region of both North and South Carolina. In fact, for Venus Flytraps to survive, the catch their prey to get proteins from then for their survival especially in not so rich in nutrients soil conditions.
For Venus flytraps to capture their prey, they have long blades that usually has a size of 5 inches that can fold together and trap the insects inside of it. They have six sensitive hairs that act as a stimulus to trap their prey. After they have digested their prey, the leaves re-opens and it is ready to capture another prey.
- Sarracenia. This plant is a native in the Northeastern part of North America. It belonged to two families of monocots, namely: Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae. This plant can imitate a flower and that is their way of trapping their preys. One of the characteristics that make this plant attractive to insects is that it has the tendency of changing the colour of its petals to burgundy and it looks like a slice of raw meat.
- Corkscrew Plant. This plant belongs to the Genlisea species and it related to Utricularia species. It usually grows in wet areas in the tropical area of South Africa and Madagascar. Their traps are in a complicated area of its body. Once insects or creatures are trapped inside it, they will be having a hard time finding their way out.
- Cobra Lily. This is also known as Darlingtonia californica. This is also a member of the pitfall trap plant just like the Sarracenia. Its leaves are tall and slender with the shape of a trumpet that is responsible for trapping the insects. However, this plant has two attachments under its head that look like fangs. Its fangs are in red that smells like honey.
- Primitive Pitcher. This is also known in its scientific name as Heliamphora nutans and is usually found in Venezuela. This plant is like Nepenthes, but the only difference is that primitive pitcher does not have lids. This plant can be bought in your local florists in Singapore.
- Monkey Cups. This plant is a native of Borneo and belongs to the species of Nepenthes. Monkey cups produce nectar that attracts insects and other organisms.
- Heliamphora. This plant’s scientific translation means marsh pitcher plant. This usually plant is usually found in the rainforest mountains of Venezuela and as well as Guyana. Its stems can grow as high as 120 cm or more. They also depend on bacteria that will provide them with enough enzymes in order for them to digest their preys properly. They trap their prey using their tubular-shaped leaves filled with rainwater. After they captured their prey, they let in rod inside their traps before they digest it. If you are interested in this plant, you may seek advice from an online florist today.
- Butterwort. This plant is a native of Eurasia and North America. It derived its name from its generic name, Pinguicula, which literally means in Latin as fat. This carnivorous plant blooms from spring to summer so it’s a great choice for starters to plant this during that season. But one surprising and interesting fact about this plant is that it goes through a cycle from being a carnivorous plant to non-carnivorous one that usually depends on the season.