Facts about Carnivorous plants, Carnivorous plants use several methods of trapping prey. Perhaps the best known is the spectacular Venus’s Fly Trap. The traps formed at the ends of the leaves, consist of two lobes fringed with spikes. Insects are attracted to the nectar produced round the edges of the lobes. On the inner surface of each lobe, there are three trigger hairs. If a raindrop or very small insect touched one hair, the trap remains open. But if an insect large enough to be useful to the plant touches two of the hairs, the lobes close inwards and the two fringes of spikes interlock. The insect is then held inside the trap and is digested by chemicals called enzymes produced by glands on the surface of each lobe.
Pitcher plants are a tropical carnivorous plant that has a jug like trap that contains a watery digestive fluid. There are several types of pitcher plants and the form their traps in various ways. In Nepenthes, the pitcher is formed from the tip of the leaf mid-rib. Many species of Nepenthes are epiphytes, or a plant attached to another plant. Sarracenia species form their pitcher from whole leaves that grow up from the swampy ground.
Often, a lid shelters the mouth of a pitcher plant. Insects may be attracted to bright colors, nectar or both. Inside the rim of the pitcher, the surface is slippery, and some species have downward pointing hairs. As a result, the insect cannot grip the surface, falls into the fluid below and drowns.
The bladderworts have inventive underwater traps that work by suction. Each trap is a bladder with a trap door at one end. Hairs that guide the prey towards it surround the trap door. On the door itself there are trigger hairs. When the prey touches this the trap-door quickly opens and water rushes in, carrying the prey with it. The trap-door closes again and the trap is reset by glands that pump water out of the bladder through its wall.
Another group of carnivorous plants work in the same way as sticky fly paper. The leaves of a sun-dew have long tentacles that exude a sticky substance at their tips.. When an insect lands on a leaf it is caught in the substance. Other tentacles then bend over to hold the insect down more firmly. Enzymes produced by glands on the surface of the leaf then digest it.
Butterworts are named because of the sticky butter-colored substance with which their leaves are covered. It is produced by small, hair like glands and glues the insect down while it is being digested.