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Flesh-Eating Flora Go Ultraviolet

By LarryR
April 5, 2013

Ranking right up there among the oddities in the world of plants are those that consume living beings to supplement their diets. Most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous Venus fly trap that snaps shut when triggered by an unsuspecting insect. But some of these plants have more in their bag of tricks than we suspected.

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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Apr 4, 2013 10:28 PM CST
I'm amazed and don't see how they know that they glow to the insects. You would think they would evolve to avoid these things. I wonder what a lightning bug would see if they landed on one.
Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers hot summers Multi-Region Gardener
KAMasud
Apr 5, 2013 1:04 AM CST
A bug landing on one wont last long enough to see much except it's end. I wish we had some to reduce the flies and mosquitoes.
Regards,
Arif.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Apr 5, 2013 1:23 AM CST
Loved, loved, loved the photos! Just googled the harmless sounding name, queen of hearts and got pics of carnivorous plant that can consume animal as big as rat. Yuck!
Thanks for sharing.
Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers hot summers Multi-Region Gardener
KAMasud
Apr 5, 2013 1:33 AM CST
Rats Hurray! . Bev how big, can they eat a tom cat sized rat Blinking if so let me know their names please Lovey dubby . Rats, mice, mosquitoes, flies, etc. you name them we have them. By the way, our normal cats are afraid of our rats and if you don't believe me pay a visit to any dirty looking merchant ship. Bound to find some.
Regards,
Arif.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Apr 5, 2013 8:01 AM CST
It is amazing how plants adapt and evolve!

The pics are fantastic, I have sundews growing down by the pond but I've never actually seen one capture a dragonfly!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
Apr 5, 2013 12:09 PM CST
Truly amazing, Larry. Thanks for the article.
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Apr 6, 2013 8:09 AM CST
The ultra violet thing isn't that terribly uncommon on flowers, but I would think leaves are another "animal". Did the literature say anything about testing for pitcher plant flowers and/or different species? Love to see the the original work if you have a link.

My initial wondering with the pitcher plant is: why doesn't the UV color extend inside the pitcher?
But with further thought, it's more likely that once the an insect is attracted to the lip, scent might take over as the primary lure.

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