Mother Nature has obviously done a great job of maintaining equilibrium. One such marvelous species is insectivorous plants that are also known as carnivorous plants, and indeed, these plants live on other living species or insects to be precise, as their name implies.
Do you know the true science behind that? Do you know how many insectivorous plants there still exist? Are you interested to know which insectivorous plant was first discovered and where? Do you want to know if you should really get one of those plants home? This blog has answers to all the insectivorous plant-related questions that can be frequently asked, so keep reading until the end to have all those spellbinding facts about this subject.
What are insectivorous plants?
Insectivorous implies insect-eating, such plants obtain much of their nutrients from insects, which they capture and ingest. Such plants thrive in tropical areas where there is plenty of sunshine and moisture. These plants are mostly found in nitrogen scarce soil which is why these plants capture and eat insects to consume nutrients.
The Science Behind It:
These plants are found in areas that are extremely deficient in soil nitrogen content. Thus the plant traps insects to meet this shortage. There is an existence of almost 500 insectivorous plants.
If you ever wish to have an insectivorous plant home, you should also know how interesting it may sound to have such plants at home but they are a little tricky to take care of so it’s better if you start with something easier to handle. Plants like Venus flytrap, Asian Pitcher Plants, Bladderworts, Butterworts, Tropical Sundews are some of the insectivorous plants that you can have at home.
Drosera rotundifolia is one of the first plants found to have been discovered as plants that digest insects.
List of few amazing Insectivorous Plants
Below is a list of a few insectivorous plants that you may like to read about.
There are actually about 80 different types of Pitcher Plants. The pitcher of the pitcher plant is actually a modified leaf. The apex of the leaf is the lid. The arrangement of these plants is very fascinating, the pitcher-like structure is essentially the transformed leaf of this plant. The lid is the top of this pot. Pitcher plants are capturing insects in such a cup of liquid in them. The sides of the cup are composed of nectar. The nectar is attracting flies. Whenever the bug lands on the surface, it sinks into the liquid.
The species grow in damp, acidic grounds that could be deficient in nutrients. Venus flytraps require an open undergrowth to survive. But the plant eats insects and arachnids to supplement its diet. Ants, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, spiders, and flying insects are all predators of a flytrap. This can take three to five days for a Venus flytrap to digest an individual, but it may take many months for meals.
Yellow Pitcher Plant
Yellow Pitcher Plants are usually located along the south-eastern coast of the United States. Such species are indigenous to the coastal areas of Carolina, Florida, Southern Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama. They are much more common in North Carolina and can also be seen in Piedmont and the mountainous areas. In India, these plants are found in Meghalaya. These plants eat bugs all summer long until the pitchers die back in the fall, switching nitrogen from the pitchers to the deep rhizomes.
Cobra Lilies has also been called Calf’s Head or California Pitcher Vine. These are home-grown plants in the northern ranges of California and the Oregon coastline. These species generally thrive in serpentine soils near cold water streams and rivers or seeps.
If you have a garden, you might note how the bugs spoil all the hard work you put in to grow a plant by killing it. No matter how many pesticides you sprinkle, it really doesn’t seem to help, and that’s when these carnivores will strike back against those pests, and you’ll be thrilled to know that Cobra Lilies is certainly one of those species.
Butterworts are widespread in the northern hemisphere, spanning Siberia to North America, and they also expand southward through South and Central America. Mexico is part of the largest range, where hundreds of new plants have been found over the last 20 years. Butterworts thrive in very nutrient-deficient and alkaline soil. In reality, these plants can go unnoticed as they are very tiny in shape. As the name suggests, the leaves of this plant are buttery. These sticky glands make it easy for this plant to catch hold of its prey.
Nepenthes, commonly known as the tropical pitcher plant, is a carnivorous plant genus that relies on small animals or insects for extra nutrients. The species is also known as the “monkey cup” because monkeys can be seen drinking the water from it. In general, the pitchers of such a tropical pitcher plant emerge and cling on the tendrils which develop on the upper leaves of a vine-like plant. Tropical pitcher plants are considered by the carnivorous aspect, capturing food including certain insects, but those species also capture larger organisms, like the frogs, lizards, small birds, and rodents.
Almost 194 species of sundew or drosera have their life and can be found from Alaska to all parts of New Zealand. Anywhere and everywhere you’re in the world, there’s a fair possibility that there’s a species of sundew found. The reflex of this prey capturing plant is faster than the others. Cape Sundews appear extremely dynamic and bursting with grace, but they need almost 30 long minutes to swallow their prey entirely. Sundews are capable of extracting nutrients from insects through the plant roots that are not generally able to collect nutrients from some other carnivorous species. Typically, they are essentially held by the roots, well-rooted to their ground, and are basically a way to hold water.
Since you have made till the end, there is a quick fun fact for you
There are not too many underwater carnivorous plants, however, there is one which is very famous: the Waterwheel Vine, or Aldrovanda. These plants eat the larvae of mosquitoes and are essentially Venus Fly Traps underwater.