Plants are boring!
Or are they?
Did you know there are some species of plants that are out to get bugs? Forget about nutrients from the soil. These sinister greens crave meat.
Read on to discover more about tricky carnivorous plants.
Trust us. They’re NOT boring!
The Plants With a “Chemical Brew”
The unique Pitcher Plant has a sneaky way of hunting. It lures insects onto the folds of its leaves and flower with its beautiful colors and syrupy nectar.
As the insect follows the trail of this sugary treat, it slips into the “belly” of the plant where it is unable to crawl back out. Here a soupy chemical brew (much like our digestive juices) slowly dissolves the victim.
Some Pitcher’s are so big – like the Nepenthes rajah which reaches over 15 inches tall – they can even devour small frogs, birds, and snakes.
Scientists have also discovered that other Pitcher Plants emit a blue glow to attract their prey. Although we can’t see this eerie light, bugs can and they can’t help but be drawn to it.
The Plants With the “Hairy” Traps
We have hair on top of our heads to help show off our personalities. The Venus Flytrap plant has unique hairs on its leaves that trap food.
Here’s how it works. An insect will land on the plant. If it touches a hair, the plant goes into hunt-mode. If the insect touches another hair, the leaf snaps shut. Once inside, the bug is digested.
Another genus of plants (corkscrew plants) has tiny hairs that point backward. These specialized hairs act as a guide and allow the bug to walk inside the plant easily. However, if the bug tries to reverse its course, it’s impossible. These hairs are locked into place. The only choice that poor critter has is to continue down towards its doom.
The Plants Without Roots But With a “Bladder”
What would you think of a plant that hunts in the water?
The Bladderwort genus has around 220 species all without roots. They can be found floating in rivers, streams, and waterlogged soils around the world.
To hunt food these carnivorous plants contain hollow sacs that suck in small prey such as insect larvae, aquatic worms, and water fleas.
Here’s how it works. Each sac (or bladder) has a door that is kept closed.
That is until its prey brushes past it.
Sensitive bristles attached to the sac trigger the door to open. When this happens, a quick intact of water sucks the prey into the bladder. The door slams shut in 1/35th of a second, and WHAMO the bug begins being digested.
These plants have indeed developed unique ways to feed their appetites. Who knew plants could be so sinister?
If you enjoyed this post about hungry meat-eating plants, drop us a line in the comments section below.
And remember to watch that plant. It might have a trap!