Carnivorous plants are so interesting because who ever thinks of a plant digesting and eating? When I normally think of plants I think more along the lines of “Hey Mr. Tree thanks for looking so pretty and allowing me to breathe.” Yet, there are some plants that have actually spent time evolving so they can eat other living things. Weird.
5. Nepenthes Northiana
More commonly known as Miss North’s Pitcher Plant the Nepenthes Northiana is a sedentary plant. It basically has a ‘pitcher’ for a body that is filled with sometimes more than a quart of fluid. At the bottom of the pitcher is a pool of digestive fluids where the prey is trapped because the walls of the pitcher are either too slippery to climb out of or the prey is too attracted to the scent of the fluid. Seems pretty boring, so what makes this plant so awesome? It’s big enough to eat rats. Yup, it doesn’t waste its time with insects, it eats rodents.
4. Dionaea Muscipula
That’s right, the ever famous Venus Fly Trap. What’s not to love about this classic example? Its bright pink and green color scheme make it cute, its fast enough to be entertaining and it gets rid of the yucky things like flys and other small unnamed insects. The Venus Fly Trap is, of course, a a snap trap plant. There are tiny hairs on the inside of the lobes that, when touched, cause the lobes to snap shut hugging to death whatever is inside of it.
(Check out this video of a Venus Fly Trap catching a frog) (Sad, but kinda awesome)
3. Drosera Capensis
The Cape Sundew uses a flypaper trap mechanism. The Cape Sundew has long slender leaves covered in tentacles that secrete mucilage. The mucilage attracted small arthropods and when the movement of these arthropods is detected the tentacles wrap around them. Then the leaves begin to fold into themselves to bring digestive juices towards the prey.The Drosera Capensis is considered an invasive species in New Zealand.
2. Aldrovanda Vesiculosa
The Aldrovanda Vesiculosa, aka the Waterwheel plant, looks similar to any plant root and works the same as a Venus Fly Trap. So why is it awesome? Because it floats in water and eats small aquatic invertebrates! Also, this species is rare and probably will die out.
The genus Utricularia eats prey with their bladders. What happens is, there’s a door on the end of their bladder sealed with mucilage which attracts prey. Extending from the bottom of the door are trigger hairs. When the trigger hairs are touched they act as a lever opening the door and then the plant sucks in a huge column of water. The plants bladder creates a vacuum and anything near by that’s smaller enough to fit, gets sucked in. Besides being the weirdest of the trapping mechanisms know to plants, it is also the fastest.