Everyone should be familiar with the genus Dionea or “Venus Fly Trap,”
CARNIVOROUS AQUATIC PLANT TRAP
Rather unremarkable in appearance from above, these tiny aquatic plants called “Bladderwort” are actually carnivorous, and display one of the most sophisticated mechanisms in the known plant kingdom.
The “bladders” of the plant’s namesake are thousands of tiny, sac-like pods that hang from submerged branches, each equipped with a hinged “door” and membranous seal held shut by a delicate equilibrium of pressure. At the slightest touch by some tiny insect, crustacean or even protozoa, the seal is broken and the bladder floods with water, sucking in the prey for digestion!!!
THIS PLANT WANTS TO BE USED AS A TOILET FOR BIRDS!!!!!
Members of the genus Nepenthes are usually adapted to attract, trap and digest insect prey in their fluid-filled “pitchers,” but Nepenthes lowii favors an alternative, even less savory diet. The rim of its “trap” secretes a sweet, milky substance that small birds may find both an enticing treat and fast-acting laxative; only seldomly catching insects, lowii derives most of its sustenance as a public toilet.
SEXUAL DECEPTION IN ORCHIDS!!!
At first glance, the flowers of many orchid species can fool even a human into seeing
some colorful bee, fly or wasp, and the resemblance is far from coincidence. Each flower not only approximates the size, shape and color of a different local insect, but imitates the female reproductive pheromones of the appropriate species, attracting male insects in a certain special mood 😉
Whereas other flowers promise food to attract pollinators, orchids such as these take
advantage of insect mating signals to avoid the costly process of nectar production. As the insects attempt to reproduce with the imposters, their bodies carry pollen from one sneaky plant to the next.
THE PARASITIC CORPSE FLOWER
Over a meter across, the flower of this rare Malaysian plant is the single largest known to man, and that’s only the beginning of Rafflesia arnoldii’s unusual characteristics. The rest of the plant consists only of a fungus-like filament, which grows as a parasite exclusively within the vines of Tetrastigma, an exotic relative of the grape. Arnoldii produces its titanic bud directly from the surface of its host, and grows for several months to bloom for only a few days.
Often called a “corpse flower,” the odor of this monstrous blossom is notoriously
unpleasant, imitating the decaying flesh of a dead animal. Its hairy, leathery texture and reddish coloration contribute to this illusion, attracting flies and other scavengers for pollination. It is not known exactly how its seeds reach other Tetrastigma, but may stick to the fur of passing rodents. Only one seed will be produced from each flower.