Top Ten Carnivorous Plants

Top Ten Carnivorous Plants

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When plants attack.

  1. The Moustrap (Nepenthes Spathulata)
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           Nepenthes spathulata is a tropical pitcher plant native to Java and Sumatra, where it grows at elevations of between 1,100 and 2,900 m above sea level. The specific epithet spathulata is derived from the Latin word spathulatus, meaning “spatula shaped,” and refers to the shape of the lamina. These amazing plants can grow up to five meters high and feed off of small rodents, even being able to digest the teeth and bones.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepenthes_spathulata,
  2. Venus Fly Trap
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    The Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the US. It catches its prey—chiefly insects and arachnids— with a trapping structure 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 20 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. Dionaea is a monotypic genus closely related to the waterwheel plant and sundews, all of which belong to the family Droseraceae.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_fly_trap,
  3. Cobra Lilly or California Pitcher Plant (Darlingtonia Californica)
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    Darlingtonia californica, also called the California pitcher plant, cobra lily, or cobra plant, is a species of 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. The plant was discovered in 1841 by the botanist William D. Brackenridge at Mount Shasta. In 1853 it was described by John Torrey, who named the genus Darlingtonia after the Philadelphian botanist William Darlington (1782–1863).
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlingtonia_californica,
  4. Bladderwort
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    Utricularia, commonly and collectively called the bladderworts, is a genus of carnivorous plants consisting of approximately 233 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, especially amongst carnivorous plant enthusiasts. All Utricularia are carnivorous and capture small organisms by means of bladder-like traps. Terrestrial species tend to have tiny traps that feed on minute prey such as protozoa and rotifers swimming in water-saturated soil. The traps can range in size from 0.2 mm to 1.2 cm. Aquatic species, such as U. vulgaris (common bladderwort), possess bladders that are usually larger and can feed on more substantial prey such as water fleas (Daphnia), nematodes and even fish fry, mosquito larvae and young tadpoles. Despite their small size, the traps are extremely sophisticated. In the active traps of the aquatic species, prey brush against trigger hairs connected to the trapdoor. The bladder, when “set,” is under negative pressure in relation to its environment so that when the trapdoor is mechanically triggered, the prey, along with the water surrounding it, is sucked into the bladder. Once the bladder is full of water, the door closes again, the whole process taking only 10 to 15 thousandths of a second. Bladderworts are unusual and highly specialized plants, and the vegetative organs are not clearly separated into roots, leaves, and stems as in most other angiosperms. The bladder traps, conversely, are recognized as one of the most sophisticated structures in the plant kingdom.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bladderwort,
  5. Flypaper Plant (Pinguicula gigantea)
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    Pinguicula gigantea is a tropical species of carnivorous plant in the family Lentibulariaceae. Its native range is within Mexico. P. gigantea’s flower is usually a purple color with the occasional light blue also seen. P. gigantea was once classified as Pinguicula ayautla. This Pinguicula was discovered by Alfred Lau and described by the botanist Hans Luhrs. P. gigantea has a few different forms, such as the ‘white flower’ form or the ‘blue flower’.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinguicula_gigantea,
  6. Waterwheel Plant (Aldrovanda Vesiculosa)
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           Aldrovanda vesiculosa, commonly known as the waterwheel plant, is the sole extant species in the flowering plant genus Aldrovanda of the family Droseraceae. The plant captures small aquatic invertebrates using traps similar to those of the Venus Flytrap. The traps are arranged in whorls around a central, free-floating stem, giving rise to the common name. This is one of the few plant species capable of rapid movement. While the genus Aldrovanda is monotypic, up to 19 extinct species are known to have existed. While the species displays a degree of morphological plasticity between populations, A. vesiculosa possesses a very low genetic diversity across its entire range. A. vesiculosa has declined over the last century to only 50 confirmed extant populations worldwide. These remain spread across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldrovanda_vesiculosa,
  7. Cape Sundew
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    Drosera capensis, commonly known as the Cape sundew, is a small rosette-forming carnivorous species of perennial sundew native to the Cape in South Africa. Because of its size, easy to grow nature, and the copious amounts of seed it produces, it has become one of the most common sundews in cultivation. D. capensis produces strap-like leaves, up to 3.5 cm long (not including the petiole) and 0.5 cm wide, which, as in all sundews, are covered in brightly colored tentacles which secrete a sticky mucilage that traps arthropods. When insects are first trapped, the leaves roll lengthwise by thigmotropism toward the center. This aids digestion by bringing more digestive glands in contact with the prey. This movement is surprisingly fast, with completion in 30 minutes. The plant has a tendency to retain the dead leaves of previous seasons, and the main stem of the plant can become quite long and woody with time.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_sundew,
  8. Drosera falconeri and Drosera burmannii
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    Drosera falconeri is a carnivorous plant in the genus Drosera. It is endemic to the Northern Territory in Australia. Drosera burmannii, the tropical sundew, is a small, compact species in the carnivorous plant genus Drosera. It normally spans only 2 cm (0.8 in) in diameter. It is one of the fastest trapping sundews as well, and its leaves can curl around an insect in only a few seconds, compared to the minutes or hours it takes other sundews to surround their prey. In nature, D. burmannii is an annual, but in cultivation, when grown indoors during the cold months, it can live for many years. Since D. burmannii is an annual, it produces large amounts of seed. Drosera burrmannii has been considered a powerful rubefacient in Hindu medicine. Drosera burmannii is an herb that produces very short stems and leaves in a rosette. Each wedge-shaped leaf is typically 8–10 mm long and 5–6 mm wide. White flowers are produced in groups of 3 to 10 on 6–15 cm (2–6 in) tall racemose inflorescences, of which there can be one to three per plant. The first brief description of the species was written by Paul Hermann and published after Hermann’s death by William Sherard in Musaeum Zeylanicum. It was described in more detail by Johannes Burman in his 1737 publication on the flora of Ceylon.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosera_falconerihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosera_burmannii,
  9. Trumpet Pitchers (Sarracenia)
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    Sarracenia is a genus comprising 8 to 11 species of North American pitcher plants, commonly called trumpet pitchers. 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 US (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.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarracenia,
  10. Byblis
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    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. Seven species are now recognized. Byblis species look very similar to Drosera and Drosophyllum, but are distinguished by their zygomorphic flowers, with five curved stamens off to one side of the pistil. These genera are in fact not closely related; modern classifications place Byblis in the Lamiales, while the sundews and Drosophyllum are now placed in the Caryophyllales.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byblis_(plant),
  11. Corkscrew Plants (Genlisea)
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    Genlisea is a genus of carnivorous plants also known as corkscrew plants. The 27 or so 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 microfauna, particularly protozoans. Although suggested a century earlier by Charles Darwin, carnivory in the genus was not proven until 1998. The generic name Genlisea honors the late Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de St-Albin, comtesse de Genlis, a French writer and educator. Two members of the genus, G. margaretae and G. aurea, possess the smallest and second smallest known genomes of all flowering plants.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genlisea,
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