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Mike's Blog - Day 92

A selection of insectivorous plants for you today.

These typically grow in open bog lands, conditions where the ground is not stable and capable of supporting a tree. Because there are no trees there is no leaf litter, which is a valuable source of nutrients for many plants in woods and other places. To fill that nutrient gap these plants have developed ways to catch the abundant insect life that thrives on these damp conditions.  Most have a red tinge or even patterns that look like veins, mimicking something dead and decaying which flies are attracted to. They probably have scent to attract flies too, but nothing as foul as the Arums on Days 77, 56 and 50, I’ve never noticed anything really strong smelling about them.

Then the trick is to catch the insect, the Venus fly trap of course is the classic example. It has fine “trigger” hairs on its inner surface, once a few of these are touched the trap closes quickly and its caught its food.

Others, i.e. Cape Sundew Drosera sp, have sticky globules which trap smaller prey.

The masters are the “tube/trumpet trap” types, such as Sarracenia sp. These are quite open and inviting at the top, but get narrower and narrower and insects simply get stuck. I have often seen these trap more than a dozen wasps and the odd cockroach.