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.
Mouse-Eating Pitcher Plants
Nepenthes attenboroughii, named after the British naturalist and television host David Attenborough, has been known to eat not just little mice but also larger rats. Their pitchers can be as large as a football and are often found to contain giant centipedes and spiders up to four inches long.
Byblis, or rainbow plant, is a small genus of carnivorous plant native to Australia. The name rainbow plant comes from the attractive appearance of their mucilage covered leaves in the sun. Even though these plants look similar to the Drosera and Drosophllum, they are not related in any way and can be distinguished by zygomorphic flowers with five curved stamens.
Sarracenia is a genus comprising 8 to 11 species of North American pitcher plants, commonly called trumpet pitchers.
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.
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.
Pinguicula, commonly known as the butterworts, is a genus of carnivorous plants that use sticky, glandular leaves to lure, trap, and digest insects in order to supplement the poor mineral nutrition they obtain from the environments.
Utricularia, or collectively known as bladderworts, is a genus of carnivorous plants consisting of about 220 species. They occur in fresh water and wet soil as terrestrial or aquatic species, on every continent accept Antarctica.
Drosera, commonly known as the sundews, comprise one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants, with at least 194 species. These members of the family Droseraceae lure, capture, and digest insects using stalked mucilaginous glands covering their leaf surfaces. The insects are used to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which they grow. Various species, which vary greatly in size and form, can be found growing natively on every continent except Antarctica.
Cephalotus follicularis, a small carnivorous pitcher plant. The pit-fall traps of the modified leaves have inspired the common names for this plant, which include Albany pitcher plant, Western Australian pitcher plant, fly-catcher plant or mocassin plant.
The Venus Flytrap
The Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States. 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 twenty 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.
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