Carnivorous Plants that specialize in eating small insects, creatures, or bugs might seem devilish and somewhat difficult to believe, but they indeed exist in their way to survive on this planet.
You can mainly find these plants in swamps or those soils deficient in nutrients. Because of the nutrient deficiency, these plants have evolved a unique strategy to survive. They eat bugs or insects, i.e., by adding meat to their food.
These plants, however, have some amount of energy with them that helps in the photosynthesis process. You can majorly find them in the Northern Hemisphere, Antarctica, and the Pacific Coasts.
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How do the Carnivorous Plants Function?
They can be called Carnivorous in the following ways:
- They are experts and have mechanisms to trap the prey that sit by them.
- As soon as they trap them, they kill and devour them for their nutrition.
- They draw those nutrients from that are deficient in the soil and absorb them.
- They have some digestive enzymes that help them digest and absorb the derived nutrients.
List of the Carnivorous Plants
The number of species of carnivorous plants is also increasing. It increases every year and has been rising since the year 2000.
Therefore, these plants look much different from other plants. This article will learn about ten carnivorous plants that you can find easily.
1. Purple Pitcher Plant
You can find the Purple Pitcher Plant easily in Northern America.
Talk about its appearance, this plant has pitchers which grow to a length of about 6 to 8 inches, and they seem to be attractive.
As it is a carnivorous plant, it takes most of its nutrients by capturing prey. The pitchers that hang from this plant become filled with prey during the hot summer months. Those prey can be of different types. They can be flies or ants or spiders, or even moths. They all fall into the pitcher and get grasped by the bases of the leaves.
The Pitcher leaves have some enzymes like proteases that help the digestion process. But as the plant gets older, digestion is facilitated by the bacteria that live within the pitchers.
You can find these plants in Canada, Washington, Alaska, Gulf Coast of the United States.
2. Cobra Lily or California Pitcher Plant
Its scientific name is Darlingtonia californica, and it is a carnivorous plant that has its origin in the US.
People call it Cobra Lily because its leaves resemble a cobra’s tubular shape. The leaves look like a fork and have a yellowish-green appearance. This Pitcher plant doesn’t store any digestive enzymes and always depends on the bacteria to break down the food they consume.
However, from recent studies, it has been found that an enzyme called the proteolytic enzyme helps digest the prey. This plant also remains equipped with prey at all times of the year.
You will find yellowish to purple flowers in this plant. It is unusually shaped and is rather complex.
3. Venus Fly Trap
This carnivorous plant has its origin on the East Coast of the United States. However, you can also find it in North Carolina and South Carolina.
The trapping mechanism is formed through the terminal part of the plant’s leaves and contains tiny hairs that protect them from adverse environmental conditions.
Whenever a bee, spider, or insect crawls to the leaves and has any touch with the hairs inside the plant, the trap that keeps open begins to close. However, the plant will start to eat and digest the consumption only when it becomes full.
This plant species is currently classified as endangered, as its growth is globally declining. You will find these plants primarily in those soils which lack nitrogen and phosphorus. Their prey insects provide them with nitrogen, which they cannot collect from the soil.
The butterwort plant has sticky and glandular leaves. Due to their stickiness, prey quickly falls on them and gets trapped. Butterworts use this mechanism for hunting their prey.
You can find most of the species at their origin place in Europe, North America. At the same time, you’ll also find some of these butterworts in some parts of Asia, where the soils are acidic and lack nitrogen.
The stickiness in their leaves develops due to mucilage secretion. And once an insect sits on the leaf, it cannot escape again and thus fall into the trap.
The flowers that these plants have are located far above the stalk. However, the flowers look pretty as they are pinkish.
The Butterworts are both herbivorous and carnivorous plants.
You can see them throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and they had their origin mainly in Central America.
5. Monkey Cup
Monkey Cup is seen in South China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, etc. These are Tropical conditioned Plants. People named them monkey cups because they believed that Monkeys drank water from the pitchers that collected in them due to rainfall.
However, the fact is that the pitchers are filled with digestive juices, but not rainwater. The pitcher first forms a small bud, and then it gradually turns into a tube shape which is the trap.
The trap functions in this way- the plant produces its secretion, which is watery, and it efficiently traps any prey that comes close to it.
However, the lower part of the plant contains some glands that help absorb the nutrients from the prey that the plant cannot absorb from the soil. The glands which attract the prey are known as nectar glands.
6. Drosera Aliciae or Australian Sundew
It is a carnivorous plant whose origin is mainly in South Africa.
They have wedge-shaped leaves. When they get enough sunlight, the tentacles become deep in color because of the pigments present in this plant. As a result, insects easily fall to prey.
This plant has received the Award of Garden Merit from the Horticultural Society.
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7. Yellow Pitcher
You will have to go to Albania, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia to witness Yellow Pitcher.
Like the other carnivorous plants, the yellow Pitcher plant uses its rolled leaf to trap insects. The uppermost part of the leaf has a lid that helps protect the plant from getting excess water draining into it.
Because the extra amount of water gets into the plant, the digestive enzymes will become less effective. Eventually, it will be difficult for the plant to survive.
These plants also have hairs in their leaves, which help trap insects. The upper parts of the plant also have some bright, attractive flowers, which also help in trapping the prey.
8. Big Floating Bladderwort
It is a prominent type of carnivorous plant that is native to the United States.
This plant is longer and lacks roots in its actual form. Also, you’ll see that this plant has tiny leaves. They have some segments of leaves that appear as branches, and those branches help in trapping the insects in large numbers.
The flowers occur at specific distances from each other, which is their characteristic. It has filament-like structures that are not left, and they secrete some watery substances that help trap the insects.
9. Spoon Leaved Sundew
It is a type of carnivorous plant that has spoon-shaped leaves.
These spoon-shaped leaves trap insects. This plant has its origin in South East Asia and Southern China, and it also occurs in Japan. The Spoon-leaved Sundew produces many seeds and flowers.
The seeds, when they germinate, lead to the formation of plants quickly. They have sticky tentacles with which they can trap the insects and draw up the nutrients.
10. Raffles’ Pitcher Plant
It is a tropical plant species that has its growth to be taking place in Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, etc.
This plant has an enormous amount of pitchers in them, and they are of varying sizes. These pitchers help the plants to entrap insects. Their colors range from dark purple to white.
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So, these are the ten types of carnivorous plants easily found across the globe. Each of these plants has a unique method of catching their prey and surviving in their environmental conditions.