Monster Flowers and Killer Taters


Better be careful what you’re digging up in the garden or putting into your soup, ’cause scientists now think there are a lot more carnivorous plants than we previously thought…

At least six different kinds of killer plants have been recognized since the time of Darwin, such as Venus flytraps, which snares insects between its jaw-like leaves, and pitcher plants, which capture victims in slippery pits. These plants apparently target animals to supplement their growth in harsh, nutrient-poor habitats.

Many other plants, some quite common, have also been suggested as potential carnivores over the years that have failed to gain wide acceptance as such thus far. Petunias and potatoes, for instance, have sticky hairs that trap insects, and several species of campion flowers have the common name catchfly for the same reason.

“We may be surrounded by many more murderous plants than we think,” said botanist Mark Chase, Keeper of the Jodrell Laboratory at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in England.

Seems like time to break out some appropriate dinner music, doesn’t it?

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