Sunday, May 31, 2009

The tables turned

Consider the cunning necessary for a plant - about the slowest-moving life form on earth - to lure, capture and consume a fast-moving insect.


Sundews set their insect traps well below where their flowers bloom and lure prey by means of a sticky substance secreted by hairs on each of the leaves... it glistens in the sunlight and serves as a beacon to passing insects (and wandering photographers).

I was surprised to find spatulate-leaved sundews, as well as thread-leaved sundews, outside of a bog in the mostly dry sandy soil near the Speedwell entrance to the
Franklin Parker Preserve.

"Here is a bloodthirsty little miscreant that lives by reversing the natural order of higher forms of life preying upon lower ones, an anomoly in that the vegetable eats the animal." --Neltje Blanchan


SNJGardener said...

How big is the plant? Its hard to tell.

MevetS said...

Sweet. I'm a carnivorous plant aficionado. I'm bummed I missed them.

@ SNJGardener: Tiny. The traps are the size of a small coin.

Susan Gets Native said...

Isabelle and I are growing some from seeds (along with venus fly-traps) on the kitchen windowsill. We planted them at Christmas and they are about one inch tall. It's slow going.