Monday, July 21, 2014

The Venus Fly Trap (part 1)

venus-fly-trap-cultivation   Part 1

The Venus Fly Trap, Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant native to the bogs and swamplands of North and South Carolina. It preys on insects with its uniquely shaped terminal portion of its leaves. The leaf has two primary regions: a broad flat typical leaf-like region called the leaf-base that is capable of carrying out photosynthesis and grows out of the ground, and the trapping mechanism, called the leaf-blade or lamina, at the end of the leaf that is composed of two lobes with hinged together by a midrib. Each trap usually has between two and five "trigger hairs" on each lobe with three trigger hairs on each lobe being normal. The edge of the trap is lined with teeth or finger-like cilia that lace together when the trap shuts. The leaf-base and leaf-blade (trap) are joined together by what is referred to as the petiole.

Venus fly traps have evolved to become carnivorous due to the fact that the soil that they grow in is lacking or short on certain key nutrients that are fundamental to plant growth. The media (soil) that Venus Fly Traps grow in is nitrogen poor and acidic. Without an ample supply of nitrogen, it is difficult for a plant to synthesize protein, and thus grow. Therefore, in order to supplement their nitrogen supply, Venus fly traps trap and digest insects. Each insect that the a Venus fly trap catches and digests is like a little piece of fertilizer for the plant, giving it a small boost of nutrients to promote growth.

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