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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Grisly Endings


Earlier in the year Mr Don, on Gardener’s World, visited the Malvern spring show & highlighted a couple of carnivorous plants – the Cape Sundew & Pitcher plant.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see Mr TG looking at me…I knew what he was thinking ‘She’ll like them, they’re hideous'.’
Well that was me instantly hooked.



This is the Cape Sundew (or Drosera Capensis, if you wanna get all technical) with its sticky tentacles.


Land on it at your peril…


…each leaf is covered in a clear glue-like substance, once insects land it’s almost impossible to escape its sticky clutch. Quite quickly the leaf will start to curl trapping the poor critter for ever, allowing more of the plants digestive glands to start feeding on its juicy innards.

**Apologies if you’ve just eaten your dinner!**


Here’s a fabulous speeded-up video from You Tube

Just to cheer you up, you’ll be glad to know that it produces a sweet little flower….so not all bad.


The other plant that I was ‘forced’ to buy was the equally outlandish Sarracenia or Trumpet Pitcher plant.


Insects are lured to their death by the colours & sweet nectar that is secreted around the lip & lid of the plant. It is of course an evil trap as the nectar contains a toxic potion which renders the insect into an drunken stupor, they fall down to the bottom of the pitcher tube and are dissolved by enzymes and the grisly insect’s nutrients are absorbed by the plant.


**I should have advised reading after the watershed**


Unfortunately on this occasion the poor victim was a bee…sorry!

Both plants are living on a shelf in the greenhouse where they are bathed in natural light but not in a position where they can be scorched.
They like a ‘boggy life-style’ so sit in a tray of rainwater, which is topped up daily, and I give them the occasional misting. Clearly they don’t need feeding, in fact I’m beginning to wonder if I could have the first obese carnivorous plants as the amount of flies stuck to the Sundew in particular is quite alarming.

**Sweet Dreams**


Bethany Benton Art said...

Horrendous little plants! I must admit, I have almost been "drawn in" by a pitcher plant I spotted in the garden center. I just hope they don't start reaching out, and devouring your well behaved plants! Glad to see you're having so much fun with the greenhouse (or should I say laboratory. Happy gardening, my friend! :-)

Crafts-by-Alison.blogspot.com said...

oh yuk Jane now put off my tea but not for long though. lol. Love Alison xx

Indie said...

Ha! I think I bought that same type of Pitcher Plant this year. I guess I also have a dark side... ;) That Sundew plant looks awesome!

Tammy said...

Sniff, sniff, I'm just wrung out with emotion!

David Marsden said...

I love Sarracenias. Help keep the number of (bad) insects in the greenhouse down too. Dave

Casa Mariposa said...

Life isn't always pretty! I think these plants are pretty cool. But when I read your description the first time, I thought it said the plant was covered in sticky testicles. I thought, "Damn, that's a weird plant." I had to read it twice. Tentacles seems more appropriate although less funny and probably less ticklish. ;o)

Lindac said...

Carniverous plants are fascinating aren't they and your phots are fabulous.

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