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10 Amazing Carnivorous Plants


The Venus Flytrap , Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant that catches and digests animal prey—mostly insects and arachnids. Its trapping structure is formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant's leaves and is triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces. When an insect or spider crawling along the leaves contacts a hair, the trap closes if a different hair is contacted within twenty seconds of the first strike. The requirement of redundant triggering in this mechanism serves as a safeguard against a waste of energy in trapping objects with no nutritional value.




Aldrovanda vesiculosa, known as the waterwheel plant, is the sole extant species in the flowering plant genus Aldrovanda of the family Droseraceae. This plant feeds on small aquatic invertebrates using traps very similar to those of the Venus Flytrap. The traps are arranged in whorls around a central, free-floating stem, hence the common name. This plant is one of few plants capable of rapid plant movement.




Byblis is a small genus of carnivorous plants, sometimes termed the rainbow plants for the attractive appearance of their mucilage-covered leaves in bright sunshine. Native to western Australia, it is the only genus in the family Byblidaceae. The first species in the genus was described by the English botanist Richard Anthony Salisbury in 1808.




Drosera, commonly known as the sundews, comprise one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants, with at least 194 species. These members of the family Droseraceae lure, capture, and digest insects using stalked mucilaginous glands covering their leaf surface. The insects are used to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which they grow. Various species, which vary greatly in size and form, can be found growing natively on every continent except Antarctica.




The butterworts are a group of carnivorous plants comprising the genusPinguicula. Members of this genus use sticky, glandular leaves to lure, trap, and digest insects in order to supplement the poor mineral nutrition they obtain from the environments. Of the roughly 80 currently known species, 12 are native to Europe, 9 to North America, and some in northern Asia. The largest number of species is in South and Central America.




Utricularia, commonly and collectively called the bladderworts, is a genus of carnivorous plants consisting of approximately 227 species (precise counts differ based on classification opinions; one recent publication lists 215 species). They occur in fresh water and wet soil as terrestrial or aquatic species across every continent except Antarctica. Utricularia are cultivated for their flowers, which are often compared with those of snapdragons and orchids, and among carnivorous plant enthusiasts.




Darlingtonia californica, also called the California Pitcher plant, Cobra Lily, or Cobra Plant, is a carnivorous plant, the sole member of the genus Darlingtonia in the family Sarraceniaceae. It is native to Northern California and Oregon, growing in bogs and seeps with cold running water. This plant is designated as uncommon due to its rarity in the field.
The name Cobra Lily stems from the resemblance of its tubular leaves to a rearing cobra, complete with a forked leaf—ranging from yellow to purplish-green—that resemble fangs or a serpent's tongue.




Genlisea is a genus of carnivorous plants also known as corkscrew plants. The 21 species grow in wet terrestrial to semi-aquatic environments distributed throughout Africa and Central and South America. The plants use highly modified underground leaves to attract, trap and digest minute microfaunaca, particularly protozoans. Although suggested a century earlier by Charles Darwin, carnivory in the genus was not proven until 1998.




The Nepenthes, popularly known as tropical pitcher plants or monkey cups, are a genus of carnivorous plants in the monotypic family Nepenthaceae. The genus comprises roughly 130 species, numerous natural and many cultivated hybrids. They are mostly liana-forming plants of the Old World tropics, ranging from South China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines; westward to Madagascar (2 species) and the Seychelles (1); southward to Australia (3) and New Caledonia (1); and northward to India (1) and Sri Lanka (1). The greatest diversity occurs on Borneo and Sumatra with many endemic species. 




Sarracenia is a genus comprising 8 to 11 species of North American pitcher plants. The genus belongs to the family Sarraceniaceae, which also contain the closely allied genera Darlingtonia and Heliamphora.
Sarracenia is a genus of carnivorous plants indigenous to the eastern seaboard, Texas, the Great Lakes area and southeastern Canada, with most species occurring only in the south-east United States (only S. purpurea occurs in cold-temperate regions). The plant's leaves have evolved into a funnel in order to trap insects, digesting their prey with proteases and other enzymes.
The insects are attracted by a nectar-like secretion on the lip of pitchers, as well as a combination of color and scent. Slippery footing at the pitchers' rim, aided in at least one species by a narcotic drug lacing the nectar, causes insects to fall inside, where they die and are digested by the plant as a nutrient source.

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