Carnivorous plants grow in places with good sun and good water but terrible soil. These conditions are common in North Carolina, making it ideal for finding and growing carnivorous plants. According to the North Carolina Native Plant Society, there are 33 different species which grow natively. Some trap with sticky leaves, some with snapping bear like traps, some with pitchers of digestive fluid, some with subterranean nooses. All are most welcome to the friggin’ mosquitos.
The carnivory serves a purpose: with air, sun and water, the only thing a plant needs are trace nutrients. If small creatures can be induced to give up their nutrients, by say drowning in a pool of digestive acids, then these nutrients can be used by the plant, allowing them to thrive in areas without competition from other plants. And that’s where you find them: by themselves, in the sun, in the damp, eating the bugs. Like say, in a bog.
There is sun here. There is water here. There are mosquitos here. So there should be a bog, which has been dutifully planted with the white pitchers which served as a model for an embroidered skirt a few weeks back.
The bog barrel has a Drosera (sundew), two Sarracenia (temperate pitcher plant), a Dionaea (venus flytrap) and some random Equisetum (horsetails), which are not carnivorous but look really cool. Also a lot of moss.
They really are amazing plants. There is a local issue with poaching, so finding where they live in the wild can be tricky as the people who know are either wanting to protect them to let them grow or protect them so they can be stolen. But if one pays attention to their needs, searching for their unique habitat requirements, them they will suddenly appear all over the damn place, since not much else can handle the conditions. Which is cool.
“Native carnivorous plants” North Carolina Native Plant Society, available from http://www.ncwildflower.org/index.php/plants/carnivorous/. Accessed June 14, 2014.
Carolina Carnivorous Plant Society, available from http://www.carolinacpsociety.org. Accessed June 13, 2014.