The 8 most fascinating yet savage flesh eating plants

5) Aldrovanda vesiculosa, commonly called the Waterwheel Plant

Waterwheel Plant

The sole surviving species of the genus Aldrovanda, the Waterwheel Plant, is a aquatic flesh eating, flowering plant found in specific areas of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Along with the Venus flytrap, it is one of the only two active snap trap plants known to mankind. The 2-3 mm bi-lobed trap leaves, extending out of the floating stem, have trigger bristles that are stimulated when in contact with marine organisms.

Waterwheel Plant_2With a reaction time of 10-20 milliseconds, the closing of the hinged trap of the Waterwheel Plant can be considered as one of the fastest instances of plant movement.

6) Darlingtonia californica or the California Pitcher Plant

California Pitcher Plant

Discovered in 1841 by William D. Brackenridge and later named after botanist William Darlington, the California Pitcher Plant is a type of insectivorous plant growing mainly in North California and Oregon. Exposure to temperatures more than 25°C can kill the delicate cells of the roots, which is why the plant is usually found in bogs and seeps with running water.

Darlingtonia_californica_ne1The shape of its leaves bears an uncanny resemblance with a cobra, thus earning it the name of Cobra Lily. By means of a lobster-pot trap, it captures its unsuspecting prey. The numerous large spots on the surface of the leaves allow light to pass through the plant, thereby causing the insect to lose its way and move inevitably towards the digestive organs present at the other end of the pitcher tube.

7) Sarracenia flava, commonly known as the Yellow Pitcher Plant

Yellow Pitcher Plant

Endemic to regions on the eastern side of the United States, the Yellow Pitcher Plant is a member of the Sarraceniaceae family of carnivorous plants. Its bright yellow leaves along with the red flower patterns on the top part of the pitcher help lure the prey into the pitcher tube. The waxy, nectar-like substance covering the upper surface of the tube ensures that the insect slips and falls into the pitcher.

s-flava-yellow-pitcher-plant-1314893554It is quite interesting to note that the nectar contains a toxin called coniine, which is believed to have an intoxicating effect on the victim.

8) Pinguicula moranensis or the Mexican Butterwort

Pinguicula_moranensis

It is a variety of butterwort, found mainly in Mexico and Guatemala. It’s simple rosette structure contains six to eight succulent leaves that grow up to 4 inches in length. The thick leaves seen during the summer are replaced by smaller, glandless ones during the winter season. The plant produces a single, large pinkish flower only twice in a year. The sticky liquid covering the leaves is what makes the plant carnivorous. The insect gets trapped when it comes in contact with the mucilaginous secretions on the surface the leaves.

Pinguicula-moranensis_2The leaves of Pinguicula moranensis are also capable of bending slightly around the prey, thereby arresting the target in its folds . A complex enzymatic process follows, which ensures complete breakdown and absorption of the nutrients from the body of the insect.

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