Pitcher Plant – Carnivorous Plants
Carnivorous plants are predatory flowering plants that kill animals in order to derive nutrition from their bodies. They share three attributes that operate together and separate them from other plants.
- Capture and kill prey
- Have a mechanism to facilitate digestion of the prey
- Derive a significant benefit from nutrients assimilated from the prey
To put it in more human terms, carnivorous plants eat things like insects, spiders, crustaceans and other small soil and water-living invertebrates and protozoans, lizards, mice, rats, and other small vertebrates. Carnivorous plants pull off this trick using specialized leaves that act as traps. Many traps lure prey with bright colors, extra-floral nectaries, guide hairs, and/or leaf extensions. Once caught and killed, the prey is digested by the plant and/or partner organisms. The plant then absorbs the nutrients made available from the corpse. Most carnivorous plants will grow without consuming prey but they grow much faster and reproduce much better with nutrients derived from their prey.
These plants do require warm, moist and bright environment at all times to grow and thrive.