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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Hungry Plants

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, July 5, 2014/Categories: environment, plants

Some plants are adapted to environments, like bogs, that support few others. Such constantly soggy places are nutrient deficient, acidic, and lack dissolved oxygen, all the ingredients for necessary proper growth. To survive, plants from widely divergent genetic and geographic backgrounds have evolved novel ways of surviving that are similar. They became carnivores.

Carnivorous plants can attract insect prey with sticky surfaces, trap doors that squash a bug, or deep pitchers where the unsuspecting critter can crawl in but not out. Some of the plants are so odd they are actually beautiful like the temperate and tropical pitcher plants. Temperate pitcher plants are found in North America and tropical forms in Asia. Charles Darwin drew the plants in the 19th Century for his studies of evolution by natural selection.

Temperate and Tropical Pitch Plants, Sarracenia and Nepenthes  (credit: SWP Media)

The carnivorous plants may be "little shops of horrors" but they are cool to discover in the wild and cultivate in your home as well.


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