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22 Nov 2015

Plants with Bite

The Venus’ Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula) has highly modified leaves that produce honey sweet nectar to attract animal prey.

Most commonly, insect prey enter the trap to feed on the sweet nectar and more often than not, trigger one of the 6 sensitive hairs on the inside of the trap.

Touch one hair and nothing appears to happen but the plant sends an electrical pulse around the leaf, touch a second and another pulse signals the trap to snap shut. Once caught, there is little chance of escape and the trap slowly tightens its grip before releasing digestive enzymes to digest its prey.

In just a few days, the trap will reopen and await another unsuspecting victim.

The venus fly trap is on display in the Bog Garden at Blue Mountains Botanic Garden year round. If you love the sticky world of meat-eating plants come along to the Carniverous Plant Fair, 5 - 13 December 2015 at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.

Category: Science
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