Insectivorous plants – not your typical houseplant!
Insectivorous plants have always been a source of wonder for many people because of their weird nature and characteristics. They are different from the usual types and varieties of plants and this has made them popular among many different kinds of plant enthusiasts. This has led to their being included in many aspects of our current culture and tradition. That many factors that many insectivorous plants unique are:
They eat insects and small animals – Instead of getting all their much needed nutrients from the ground, insectivorous plants get theirs from the bodies of insects and small animals. This is why they are also sometimes called carnivorous plants. They do this as a form of adaptation in response to the type of location where they are usually found. These places are usually characterized by much moisture and humidity but poor soil quality.
They are hunters and not the hunted – They do this even without leaving their spots. Instead they lure their prey by means of different forms of bait and bribery then immobilize it once it is within reach. They make use of a variety of trapping mechanisms that are effective in capturing almost all kinds of insects as well as small animals. These traps include pitfalls, flypapers, snap traps, suction traps and lobster – pots. These are traps are usually found in the leaves so it greatly influences the design and appearance of the leaves of each type of plant.
They are colorful – These carnivorous plants come in a variety of different colors aside from the usual green and brown. Some of these colors include red, yellow and pink. These evolved because of their difficulty in gathering all of their nutrient requirements from the soil. This causes the insectivorous plants to stand out and be more attractive especially in the eyes of insects and other small animals. This functions as one of the many ways that the plants use to attract any potential prey.
They come in different shapes and sizes – Some of the most unique shapes in the plant kingdom belong to these types of plants. These shapes are influenced by the trapping method that a specific carnivorous plant uses. For example, there is the sundew plant which can look like a hairbrush with droplets of water in the tips of its bristles. Actually, these tiny droplets are mucilage that sticks any prey to the leaf itself.
There is also the pitcher plant which as its name suggests, comes in the shape of a pitcher or a cup. It uses this shape to collect water which is used to catch and drown any potential victims. Digestive juices or bacteria are then mixed into the water to be able to digest the captured animal.
Probably, the most famous model that is used for all carnivorous plants is that of the Venus fly trap. It has been immortalized in many movies as well as comic books. Its shape can be likened to two hands that are placed together with the fingers sticking out. These snaps shut the moment it senses a prey has landed on it.
These are just some of the many things that make insectivorous plants such exciting and interesting plants to study, observe and keep. Have you started growing carnivorous plants at home yet?