Ten Plants That Put Meat on Their Plates- page 8 | Science | Smithsonian
The stinking passion flower (Passiflora foetida) is native to wet tropical areas in the West Indies and central South America. (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England)

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

Mexican butterwort

Mexican butterwort
(Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England)

Though members of the Pinguicula genus tend to be small, the summer rosettes of the Mexican butterwort (P. moranensis) grow up to about eight inches in diameter. The plant, which grows in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, traps prey—usually gnats and flies but also pollen grains—on its leaves with sticky mucilage. The leaf surface then slightly sinks and the hollow fills with digestive enzymes. The meal is kept fresh with a bactericide that prevents rotting while digestion takes place.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus