Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Cannibal Pitcher Plant Caught a Fly!

My Cannibal Pitcher Plant Caught a Fly!

Oh wow, my carnivore pitcher plant caught a fly!

Take a look at these pictures.  My son gave me this pitcher plant, which he had bought at a museum shop. It was very small when I got it. I re-potted it (we named him Seymour) in a bigger pot. For a week or so Seymour sulked and threatened to die, until I learned that he's a bog plant and loves to be wet. I put a bowl underneath the pot so he's soaking in water at all times. Seymour is used to spartan swamp conditions and he hates fertilizers and minerals. His water must be distilled water. I also keep a spray bottle with distilled water and spray Seymour in the morning and at night. He sits above my kitchen sink and gets nice filtered light from the picture window.  Before long Seymour started to have new shoots and is thriving.

Another thing I learned is that Seymour does need bugs and flies. I thought the matter of feeding carnivorous plants bugs and flies was optional, like a myth. It's absolutely true that carnivorous plants trap, kill, and digest bugs for the needed nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients. Wow - creepy, but interesting!

I am not sure how Seymour will finally kill the fly. The fly looks drugged. We think Seymour is sending off pheromones to attract bugs. We also liken him to the Sirens singing their seductive song to lure Odysseus and his men.

Each leaf of the pitcher plant has acidic liquid in the middle. Somehow, Seymour seduces the fly to get in deeper until the fly falls into the acidic well, then bam!  The fly is a goner. The fly is digested inside that leaf.

Before you get the idea that my house is swarming with flies, let me clarify that now and then, when the kitchen door is open, some of then sneak in -- but voila! there's Seymour to get them.

Have you ever seen The Little Shop of of Horrors?  That's a classic movie about a man-eating plant. We are hoping our Seymour doesn't get as big and aggressive as Audrey II of the The Little Shop of Horrors.

When my son gave me this plant, he kept saying I would love it. While Seymour was sickly I didn't care too much for him. Now that he's robust and catching flies, gruesome as the bug/fly killing is, I must admit Seymour the Carnivorous Pitcher Plant is pretty cool!

 Read also
What are Carnivorous Plants?
Photo Leaf Bug or Katydid
Photo Stick Insect
How are the honey bees doing this 2013
Honey bees in my chimney
Bees in my garden
Bees in my garden - wild and domesticated 
Garden pictures from the Philippines and Vietnam
Beautiful old buildings in the Philippines

That's all for now,

tags: pitcher plant, carnivore, cannibal, plant, carnivorous plant, agriculture

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