Plants. Deadly plants.

sticky

Drosera intermedia, spoon-leafed sundew, from Croatan National Forest.

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.

habitat

Who wouldn’t want to live here?

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.

yellow pitcher

Sarracenia flava, the yellow pitcher plant, from a diorama at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Sorry for the fakes, but the buggers are hard to find.

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.

Pinguicula lutea, yellow butterwort, also from a diorama. Couldn't resist it. Also a hognose snake eating a frog. hehehehehheheeh.

Pinguicula lutea, yellow butterwort, also from a diorama. Couldn’t resist it. Also a hognose snake eating a frog. hehehehehheheeh.

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.

References

“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.

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One Response to Plants. Deadly plants.

  1. cat says:

    love the drosera intermedia pic!

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