Carnivorous Plants (Insectivorous)

The Botanical Society of America is pleased to provide you with our carnivorous plants pages. We are in the early stages of development on this area of our website. Please bear with us, we are sure it will be worth the wait. In the mean time we hope that the images and the strange and interesting plants (donated by the members of the Botanical Society of America) provided prove to be an interesting and useful resource. We also hope you enjoy the stories they tell and that they open up your possibilities for asking new questions!

The most bizarre adaptations to low nutrients are those of the carnivorous plants. These plants derive a portion of their nutrients by trapping and digesting various invertebrates and occasionally even small frogs and mammals. The various traps have been referred to as pitfalls (pitcher plant), flypaper (sundew, butterwort), steel traps (Venus flytrap), and suction traps (bladderwort). It is not surprising that the most common habitat for these plants is in bogs and fens, where as many as thirteen species of carnivorous plants have been found in a single bog (Folkerts 1982). It is here that nutrient concentrations are low and water is seasonally abundant to aid in their trapping apparatus, while the plants are tolerant of both fire and soil saturation.

Carnivorous plants are fascinating to grow because even when they are not trapping insects, their unusual growth forms are intriguing. However, you should not collect these in the wild because most of them are relatively rare. It is usually relatively easy to order one from specialty growers or get one from your local nursery. They generally get their stock from growers who use tissue culture or vegetative means to grow the plant, or even start them from seeds. Hence, they give the plant the start it needs for you to be successful in growing it, and the diminishing natural populations are not affected.

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Nepenthales, Family: Nepenthaceae

Nepenthes
Genus: Nepenthes - Monkey Cup
Currently 91 listed species occupying habitats in Australia, Indonesia and Madagascar.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Nepenthales, Family: Droseraceae

venus flytrap
Genus: Aldrovanda -
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in Europe and Asia.
venus flytrap
Genus: Dionaea - The Venus Flytrap
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in the southeastern United States of America.
Drosera
Genus: Drosera - The Sundews
Currently 152 listed species occupying habitats throughout the world.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Nepenthales, Family: Drosophyllaceae

drosophyllum
Genus: Drosophyllum -
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in Portugal and western Spain.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Sarraceniales, Family: Sarraceniaceae

drosophyllum
Genus: Darlingtonia -
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in the northwest United States of America.
Heliamphora nutans
Genus: Heliamphora -
Currently 7 listed species occupying habitats in north & central South America.
pitcher plant
Genus: Sarracenia - The Pitcher Plants
Currently 10 listed species occupying habitats in eastern Canada and the southeastern United States of America.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Saxifragales, Family: Byblidaceae

Byblis
Genus: Byblis - The Rainbow Plant
Currently 5 listed species occupying habitats in nouthwestern Australia.
Cephalotus
Genus: Cephalotus - Albany Pitcher Plant (or Western Australia Pitcher)
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in southwestern Australia.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Scrophulariales, Family: Lentibulariaceae

Genlisea
Genus: Genlisea -
Currently 20 listed species occupying habitats in Africa and South America.
Pinguicula
Genus: Pinguicula - Butterwort
Currently 79 listed species occupying habitats in Asia, Europe and North America.
Utricularia
Genus: Utricularia - Bladderwort
Currently 221 listed species occupying habitats throughout the world.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Violales, Family: Dioncophyllaceae

COMING SOON!
Genus: Triphyophyllum -
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in West Africa & the Ivory Coast.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Dicotyledones,
Order: Violales, Family: Passifloraceae

Passiflora foetida
Genus: Passiflora -
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in Centeral America and northern South America.
 
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Anthophyta, Class: Monocotyledones,
Order: Bromeliales, Family: Bromeliaceae

Brocchinia preflowers
Genus: Brocchinia -
Currently 2 listed species occupying habitats in South America.
COMING SOON!
Genus: Catopsis -
Currently 1 listed species occupying habitats in South America and the state of Florida in the United States of America.
Speical thanks to Dr. Janice Glime, Dr. David Webb and Barry Rice (sarracenia.com) for their contributions to the insectivorous/carnivorous plant pages.

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Investigate the American Journal of Botany images & cover stories for other years! 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992,

And there are more images and information on the Mysterious Venus Flytrap!, What is Botany, Ask a Botanist, Additional Botanical Images & Stories, BSA Online Teaching Images, and pages.