It was an honor to contribute two valentines to Plant Love Stories’s #Plantheartart this year! In keeping with the groups mission to tell the stories of plant-lovers and the flora they adore, I drew two of my favorite (carnivorous) plants. Happy Valentine’s Day!
You’re a catch Nepenthes × ventricosa
Pitcher plants are well-known for their ability to lure and entrap insects. However, some pitchers rely on larger animals as significant sources of nutrients. At least one Nepenthes species serves as a roosting site for Kerivoula hardwickii bats, benefiting from their rich guano (3). Other “carnivorous” pitchers live up to their name. A personal favorite of mine, Sarracenia, can consume up to 5 percent of emerging salamander larvae from wetlands (4). How romantic!
Eat you up Dionaea muscipula
The venus flytrap is probably the most iconic carnivorous plant. Mostly feeding on ants and spiders, the hairs on the insides of each trap (a modified leaf structure) must be tapped twice to initiate closure. After initial capture, it only takes five more triggers to seal the trap completely and begin the flow of digestive enzymes (2).