June 22, 2020

There is much hype and talk when it comes to the famous Venus flytrap plant. What makes the Venus flytrap so special, and how is it different than most plants?

        The Venus flytrap, also known as the Dionaea muscipula, is a unique plant. It is typically found in the subtropical wetlands such as North and South Carolina. Unlike most plants, It is carnivorous because it has adapted due to evolution. They have aspecific form of feeding because of their nutrient poor soil. What is especially fascinating is that to compensate for their harsh environments and nutrient deficiencies, they havecarnivorous feeding traps.

 

How Does it Work?

  The Venus flytrap typically feeds on insects and arachnids. It catches its prey by forming a trapping structure. This structure is shaped by the closing portion of each plant's leaf which is activated by tiny hairs on their inner sides. Their snap two-lobed traps shut within a tenth of a second to capture their meal. The Venus flytrap tricks insects into thinking it is a flower with its small nectar secreting glands along its edges as well as the reddish interior. In order to avoid trapping closed on false alarms, the sensor must be triggered twice within 20 seconds for the plant to respond.

 

 

More Fun Facts:

  • The plant’s trap can only open and shut about 6 times before it closes permanently and therefore has a limited number of lives.
  • It takes 10 days to completely digest insects and reopen its trap.
  • Unlike normal plants who must defend themselves against predators, the Venus flytrap eat theirs.
  • If the flytrap seizes prey that is too big, that specific trap usually dies because the dead insect is attacked by mold and bacteria.

 

 

Written by: Michele Tornheim


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