There are many different types of Carnivorous plants from the well known Dionaea Muscipula to the elegant Nepenthes, However there are many just as interesting plants that have little notoriety. Some of which are true Carnivores while others are considered para-carnivorous in nature, the development of homologous structures in the plant kingdom cannot be overlooked and is crucial in providing insight into how these amazing plants may have came to be. Some of these plants are closely related to more known ones while others are completely separate in lineage. One of the most remarkable plants among all is the Tryphophyllum Peltatum. This plant is closely related to drosophyllum and possesses similar glandular tentacles at some times of the year with vines of this plant span up to 90 ft. easily making this the largest of all carnivorous plants. The plant has a strong method of seed production and its seeds are circular in shape looking like a disc. The plant is not very well known and for good reason since it is only cultivated by a few botanical gardens and even less private growers nonetheless this is a truly magnificent plant that is worth a mention. In addition to this carnivorous monster there are many more subtle plants that are interesting as well. Some other notable plants are Catopsis berteroniana (perhaps a true carnivore), Brocchinia reducta (True carnivore), Brocchina hectioides (perhaps a true carnivore), Roridula ( para-carnivorous), Ibicella lutea , Dipsacus , Passiflora foetida , Paepalanthus bromeloides , and Geranium viscosissimum and Potentilla arguta. It is important to note how numerous the plants that occupy this grey area are. The reason many plants are not considered to be true carnivores is the evidence of the lack of digestive enzymes. This would indicate that the plants trap insects for reasons other than the absorption of nutrients, that they are still in the process of developing these enzymes, or that they rely on symbiotic relationships with other organisms in order to obtain these nutrients. Some plants posses sticky glandular tentacles for the proposed reason of trapping unwanted pollinators while allowing the desired ones to obtain pollen and nectar. Others may posses these tentacles as a self defense mechanism to protect against small pests. While others have relationships with other organisms such as predatory insects and bacteria absorbing nutrients from the waste of these partners. Many of our cultivated carnivores still rely partly on symbiotic relationships with microfauna in order to absorb nutrients. Even more strange there are carnivorous fungi which specialize in capturing small organisms. So the next time you see a strangely behaved plant it may not hurt to ponder its true nature you might just uncover a hidden carnivore.
Hug the Trees. Feed the Flytraps.
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