The Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Updated: Jun 4

The Venus Flytrap is probably the most commonly known carnivorous plant. That being said, while many know that it eats insects, many do not know why it does. So let's look into the science and find out more for ourselves.

Physical Description and Behavior

This plant is rather small, being only about 12 inches tall at most. Their leaves spread out only about 3 inches on average, making them easy to have in a small garden. They also have two round lobes on top that are used by this plant to catch its prey.

Since these plants grow heavily in nutrient-deficient soil, it has to get the nitrogen it needs for protein formation via other means. This is where the plant's "mouth" comes into play. These are two wide open leaves that are green on the outside, and red on the inside. This red part attracts flies that come down for food.

There are tiny strands on the red part that can sense small movements. So when something, like a fly, touches it, it snaps closed, caging its prey in spikes on their end. It is then that it begins the process of digesting the fly, small frog, or other small insects for nitrogen. Sometimes, a small rock or leaf can trigger this, and the plant is able to realize this, and open back up to release the rock.

This trap can really only catch about 3 or 4 insects before it dies altogether. Some of the time, the insect or frog that it catches is either too large, too small, or are otherwise dangerous to the plant. These can damage the plant and cause it to die prematurely.

Habitat and Location

This plant is very native, being able to be found natively right in the US between Florida and North Carolina. Although they may be seen in other areas due to collectors and botanical gardens.

The IUCN considers the Venus Flytrap to be a vulnerable species.

You can learn more about these plants by watching the video down below

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