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Carnivorous plants questions.

paghat paghatSPAMMERS-DIE at netscape.net
Mon Aug 26 16:15:01 EST 2002

In article <Wnva9.223$kX5.21887183 at newssvr17.news.prodigy.com>, "Patrick
D. Rockwell" <hnhc85a at prodigy.net> wrote:

> I know about 5 basic kinds of carnivorous plants. Venus fly traps, Pitcher
> plants, Sundews, Butterworts, & Bladderworts. Are there others? I don't mean
> subspecies of the abve, like different types of Sundews or Pitcher plants. I
> heard that there is something called the Madagascar Parrot plant which is
> insectivorous. Does anyone know about this? Where can I get the information.
> What about the Century plant. Is that carnivorous? Thanks in advance for the
> information.

I never heard of carniverous Century plant (Agave sp), nor a carniverous
Parrot Plant; but my not hearing of them doesn't mean much. Several
epiphytic succulents like the Century Plant may in fact feed on insects
but probably only those that incidentally die in the soilless invironments
& arboreal settings of many epiphytes, so I'm not ruling it out, but I
don't think century plants are thus categorized. 

Your list appears to miss Aldrovanada (Waterwheels) which resemble pitcher
plants; Cobra Lily (Darlingtonia, not jack-in-the-pulpit cobra lilies)
which is one of the most garden-hardy of all carniverous plants; Byblis
("Rainbow Plant"); Drosophyllum (Dewy Pine); Genlisea ("Corkscrew Plant"
with very pretty normal flowers); & Polypomphoolyx (Fairy Aprons).
Shepard's Purse (Capsella) are known to capture insects & there are
several other "sticky" plants that catch but don't seem to ingest prey &
most overviews of carniverous plants will discuss several
almost-carnivors.  "Pitcher plant" is itself a catch-all name for the
genera Sarracenia, Heliamphora, & Nepenthes...so that is not a matter of
"subspecies" at all, there being many species in each genus before ever
getting round to subspecies & hybrids. 

There are a very few bromiliads ("air plants") that include species
adapted to ingest insects that drown in their centers; I don't have a list
of the species but they occur in the genera Catopsis & Brocchinia (not all
in these genera are carniverous & those which are are not completely
dependent on insects to obtain nutrients). There may be other epiphytic
plants that to some extent do this, I've not read enough about them to
know for sure. There is a species of Utricularia bladderwort that lives
inside the aforementioned Brocchinia, where its only nutirient source is
the insects that drown in the Brocchinia, so it looks like two epiphytic
plants at once are feeding off the same insects! 

You should obtain J. & P. Pietropaulo's CARNIVEROUS PLANTS OF THE WORLD.
In the mean time you can find out a bit in a hurry at www.sarracenia.com
which site has info on more than just Sarracenia spp.


"Flowers are commonly badly designed, inartistic in 
color, & ill-smelling." -Ambrose Bierce
Visit the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl:

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