Tuesday, March 20, 2012

little terrarium of horror, part 1

Ever since I was a young girl and learned about Venus flytraps, I've wanted them. I thought it was just the coolest plant life ever! Besides the fact they ate insects, it was the idea that they seemed almost cognizant.

venus flytrap

Later in life, I learned there were other types of carnivorous plants like the pitcher plants. Unlike the Venus fly traps, their traps are not activated with touch. Instead, bugs who land or crawl onto the rim of the plant slip and fall to their liquid deaths. The bugs are lured by the sweet smell of the nectar inside the pitcher, which is what dissolves their carcasses.
And there is another carnivorous plant that possesses qualities of both the Venus fly trap and pitcher plants, and that is the sundew. The sundew "...uses its sticky tentacles to attract and catch flies and other insects. Contact triggers a curling reaction, where the plant wraps up its prey and eventually digests and absorbs the victim's nutrients."

I'm not only fascinated by carnivorous plants but I also find them to be quite beautiful, and beautifully designed. They are a fine examples of how living things adapt and evolve in order to survive. Though I'm curious what they originally evolved from.

photo by Noah Elhardt
photo by Noah Elhardt
In the past, I've missed opportunities to buy Venus flytraps because I wasn't sure how to care for them. But I've since learned carnivorous plants can be kept in terrariums. And in fact, they are ideal plants for such contained humid environments. I love the idea of a little and living green environment contained in clear glass. There is something quite wonderful about vignettes of nature in your home.

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