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!**
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.