Carnivorous Sarracenia Trumpet Pitcher Velvet
Carnivorous plants definitely fall into the category of weird, wonderful and downright fascinating. Mesmerising houseplant owners of all ages with their striking appearances and fascinating adaptations to capture and feed on insects and small creatures. It is no wonder they have held their popularity for decades.
Sarracenia, commonly known as a Trumpet Pitcher plant is a natural fungus gnat killer! If you have an issue with this pest this plant is for you.
The best place to start with carnivorous plants is by understanding their natural habitat and how their environment has led them to form such unique adaptations. Carnivorous plants have been on the planet for a long time, around forty million years and have been found on almost every continent and tropical island with Antarctica being the only exception.
Carnivorous plants are typically found in areas that are high in natural light and moisture, as well as water-logged areas like swamps where the nutrients in the soil are virtually non-existent. Many of their strange adaptations have been formed from this lack of nutrients.
All plants need basic nutrients to survive and without them, they don’t stand much of a chance.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are two of the most important nutrients plants need, nitrogen is the main component in chlorophyll which plants use for photosynthesis. The other is phosphorus, which is needed to make this process possible. Plants use phosphorus to take in, store and convert the sun’s rays. Without it, they would be unable to use the sun’s energy to create the biomolecules (proteins, amino acids, DNA) they need to grow and reproduce.
Carnivorous plants have adapted over millions of years to get these essential nutrients from their environment. Unable to get these nutrients from the soil they have formed traps to capture insects and small creatures that are rich in the nutrients they lack.
There are approximately 600 different species that fall into the Carnivorous plant category. These different species have found ways of attracting, trapping, killing, and absorbing their prey purely to extract the nutrients they need for survival.
Most carnivorous plants will use bright colours, distinctive smells, and sticky surfaces to attract insects but there are some key mechanisms that make up the variations of carnivorous plants and most species can be spread across these different hunting strategies
- Snap traps use rapid leaf movement to snap shut and capture their prey.
- Bladder traps suck in their prey with a small internal vacuum.
- Pitfall traps entice prey into a small rolled-up leaf with digestive enzymes.
- Flypaper traps utilize sticky mucus to trap their prey.
- Eel traps use inward-facing hairs to force their prey towards the digestive organ.
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