Venus Flytrap

Scientific Classification
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Dionaea
Species: D. Muscipula

Natural Habitat
Nitrogen-poor peat bogs in North Carolina and South Carolina

Conservation Status
Vulnerable. Your plant was grown in a greenhouse, not harvested from nature.

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Trapper

Bugs come looking for dinner, but become dinner instead!

A miraculous drama is played out thousands of times a day in the swamps of North Carolina. You can watch this wonder of nature in your own home with this plant.

Picture a fly hovering over a mossy bog. The hot air is thick with moisture. The fly is hungry.

Dionaea muscipula
Looking down, it notices something red sparking in the sun. A sweet aroma lures the fly to take a closer look. The fly lands on a ‘V’ shaped leaf with a delicate fringe of green fingers at the edge. Inside, the leaf is coated with red sweet nectar. This looks like a delicious treat to the hungry insect.

As the fly begins to feed, it accidentally touches a small black hair on one side of the leaf. Nothing happens. Moving away, it touches a second black hair. A nerve-like impulse races through the leaf. The leaf snaps shut, trapping the fly inside.

Things are not what they first seemed to be. What were delicate fingers become teeth of a bear trap. What were beautiful red drops of nectar now become glue that make the fly’s wings and feet stick together. The more the fly struggles, the more tightly the leaf closes shut.

Enzymes much like those in your stomach fill the closed trap. They soften the insect and liquefy the proteins. Rich in nitrogen, this protein ‘soup’ is absorbed by the leaf.

About a week later, all that remains of the fly is a hollow shell, its exoskeleton. The leaf re-opens. A breeze removes the feather-light debris, and the trap is ready to catch another meal.

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