Ten Plants That Put Meat on Their Plates
In addition to the well-known Venus flytrap, many other plant species feed on bugs or crustaceans
- By Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian.com, January 08, 2010
(Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England)
Charles Darwin believed that the rainbow plant (Byblis gigantea), a native of southwestern Australia, was probably carnivorous, but modern scientists aren’t so sure. Sticky hairs on the plant snag insects, which get stuck and die. B. gigantea has enzymes capable of digesting the bugs, but it is not clear that the plant is doing so. Sundew bugs (Setocoris bybliphilus) suck out juices from the captured insects, and B. gigantea may benefit from those bugs’ waste products.