27 May 2011

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous Plants obtain nutrients by trapping and digesting various insects, some have even been known to digest small frogs and mammals. Carnivorous plants are commonly found in bogs and marshes where there is plenty of nutrients.
There are five basic ways in which carnivorous plants trap their prey:

Pitfall Traps: Leaves are filled with digestive enzymes that enable them to trap their prey
Flypaper: Leaves are covered in glands that produce a sticky mucus
Snap Traps: The leaves are hinged and snap shut as soon as their trigger hairs are touched
Suction Traps: highly adapted leaves that suck in prey with a bladder that creates an internal vacuum
Lobster Pot Traps: They have twisted tubular channels that lure its prey – these channels are lined with glands and hairs
The Venus Fly Trap is the most famous and renowned carnivorous plant. Their traps often grow big enough to catch wasps, flies, spiders, slugs and daddy long legs. There is only one species but they come in many different shapes sizes and colours. They are not very large plants and should be grown in pots that are placed in water trays. It is important to use soft water for example rainwater as this encourages strong growth. You should never fertilise the plant through the root system however one can feed the plant live insects during the growing season – live wax worms and meal worms are ideal meals. Do not feed them dead insects as this will cause rot.

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