Aldrovanda vesiculosa (Waterwheel)

Aldrovanda vesiculosa (Waterwheel)

The waterwheel plant is native to Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, but they are becoming increasingly rare.  It’s the sole species of the genus, although 19 extinct species are known, through fossil records.   This fast growing, aquatic, rootless plant consists of free-floating stems reaching a length of 6–40 cm (2–16”).  It naturally grows in ponds and lakes of clear […]

The Insects Strike Back… 

The Insects Strike Back… 

Carnivorous plants have ingeniously evolved a variety of mechanisms to survive in extreme conditions.   With the ability to catch their prey they don’t have to rely on their immediate environment alone to obtain nutrients, unlike more traditional plants.  Usually, you think of insects as having the upper hand over plants.  As a keen vegetable grower, I experience this issue every […]

Utricularia (Bladderwort) 

Utricularia (Bladderwort) 

Bladderworts are the largest genus of carnivorous plants with around 220 species and are widely distributed around the world.  They are highly evolved, mostly semi aquatic plants and can be found in lakes, streams and bogs.  The plants contain tiny hollow bladders that actively capture and digest their prey, such as insect larvae, aquatic worms and water fleas. The bladders, […]

Darlingtonia Californica (Cobra lily) 

Darlingtonia Californica (Cobra lily) 

Darlingtonia is native to the USA, in northern California and southern Oregon.  It is the sole member of its genus and one of the rarest.    Cobra lilies have variegated pitchers at the end of their leaves. Pitchers are mottled green in colour and survive for two to three years.  They have a distinctive hood sheltering the entrance to the […]

Cephalotus follicularis (Western Australian or Albany pitcher)

Cephalotus follicularis (Western Australian or Albany pitcher)

Cephalotus is only native to the breezy coastal districts of southwest Australia, mainly between the towns of Albany and Walpole and is the only member of the genus.  Plain, fleshy leaves form in spring and the traps follow in summer.  Long upright stems up to 60cm (2ft) in height are formed producing an unspectacular white or cream flower. The thimble […]

Nepenthes (Monkey cup pitcher)

Nepenthes (Monkey cup pitcher)

Nepenthes are a genus that contains around 170 species and are very diverse.  They are native to the tropics, principally Madagascar through tropical Asia to northern Australia.  In the wild they grow as vines up to 15m (50ft).    Most tropical pitcher plants grow in the upper canopy of rainforests and prefer bright light, but without much direct sun.  Other varieties […]

Drosera (Sundew)

Drosera (Sundew)

Sundews are native to every continent apart from Antartica.  The genus is among the largest of all carnivorous plants with around 200 known species.  They grow in a range of habitats in nutrient deficient soils and come in diverse shapes and sizes.  Sundews come in prostrate or upright rosettes between 1 and 100 cm (0.39 and 39.37 in) in height, […]

Sarracenia (American or trumpet pitcher) 

Sarracenia (American or trumpet pitcher) 

Sarracenia belong to a genus of 8 recognised species.  They are native habitat to North America, primarily the eastern see-board and northern USA as well as south-east Canada.  They grow along coastal plains and sunny open wetlands.  These habitats are under attack due to drainage to facilitate urban developments.  They are therefore becoming increasingly rare.  The plant itself comes in […]

Pinguiciula (Butterwort)

Pinguiciula (Butterwort)

Butterworts are from a genus of around 80 species.  They are native to all continents, except Australia and Antartica.  Most species can be found in Central and South America. Typically, plants have fleshy rosettes of green, pink or red leaves, covered with dew-producing glands.  In temperate varieties, leaves are produced in spring and flowers form on long stems.  They become […]

Dionaea Muscipula (Venus flytrap)

Dionaea Muscipula (Venus flytrap)

The Venus flytrap is probably the most recognizable of all carnivorous plants.  It is the only member of its genus and is native to North and South Carolina, USA, where they predominantly catch spiders, rather than flies. In spring and summer, the plant produces waxy green leaves with ornate traps on the tips.  The inner surface of the trap is […]