You are flowers in my stomach.
Cutting me open nightly, blooming through the cracks of the ribs.
I only want to be the sun for you.
We’ve all seen little Venus Flytraps in the grocery store or garden center, but do you know where they come from?
This unique species is actually native to a small area of the Carolinas - specifically, within a one to two hour drive of Wilmington, North Carolina. Like all carnivorous plants, they grow in nutrient-poor habitats such as bogs.
They’re one of just a handful of plants capable of rapid movement - the traps, once triggered, can close in less than a second. The captured prey is digested in about ten days using enzymes secreted once the trap is closed. In the spring, healthy plants will put up a long scape topped with small white flowers, but they also reproduce vegetatively by growing new plants as offshoots from the underground rhizome. An individual plant will never grow more than 7 trap leaves - clusters with more than 7 leaves are actually a parent and its cloned offspring.
Photo by Miguel Vieira on Flickr
(via: Peterson Field Guides)
I find many people are under the impression that carnivorous plants are “exotic foreign arrivals” to American garden shop shelves, but while you’ll find some impressive pitcher plants in rain forests, and sundews in Australia, many species grow right here in North America!
That includes the California cobra lily, flute-shaped Sarracenia, and sundry other pitcher plants—with New York varieties being found right here in our Native Plant Garden. So while you shouldn’t be out snagging them from the wild, you can rest easy in the knowledge that there are tons of good native options for the carnivorous-crazy among you. —MN