Looking forward to the temperate carnivores growing season.

With the slow-but-sure advance of our so-called “spring weather” (it’s been unusually wet and temps have stagnated, it seems) the temperate carnivores are waking. That means flower buds on many of the adult Sarracenia, new trap primordia on the Dionaea, etc. I get the impression that many Sarracenia growers view the flowers as a vaguely interesting side show, but I actually find the blooms quite intense and a focal feature deserving of special attention. S. ‘Judith Hindle’ for example:

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And then there is that insanely unique foliage; a blade rolled into a tube, with a hat on top to limit rainwater, and glands on the interior to absorb nitrogen from the decaying corpses of insects lured inside! On paper, the concept defies belief, and yet there it is: plants that catch insects and dissolve them for their nitrogen. Madness!

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S. ‘Judith Hindle’

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S. ‘Adrian Slack’

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S. catesbaei

No discussion of temperate carnivores is complete without at least a brief mention of the notorious Venus’ Flytrap. I doubt there are many in this world who haven’t at least heard the name mentioned or seen photos or illustrations of the plant. Dionaea muscipula is one of the relatively few “active trap” carnivores, with spring loaded traps at the ends of bland looking petioles that are tripped when an insect touches a trigger device inside the trap. (touching one trigger hair twice, or two different hairs in quick succession trips the mechanism) The botanical world’s palette is loaded with oddities, but Dionaea muscipula is very high on the list indeed, for it’s ability to trap its prey in the blink of an eye, snapping it’s traps shut with what seems like animal intent.

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Dionaea muscipula ‘Colorado Giant’