Carnivorous Plants

Sean Barry ez010780 at
Mon Feb 5 12:35:50 EST 1996

gordon wood (gwood at wrote:
: I would be grateful for any help/advice anyone could offer to source
: information on the feeding mechanisms of carnivorous plants. I regret
: that I am relatively new to the intricacies of searching the Internet
: for information and I apologise if the information I am looking for is
: easily obtained through another groups faq`s.

The two definitive books on the subject from the scientific end are
Darwin's "Insectivorous Plants" and Lloyd's "Carnivorous Plants."  Both
cover the various trap mechanisms in detail although Lloyd's book is more
current (1945).  In addition, there are several books in print or recently
in print that cover the various plants and trapping mechanisms from the
horticultural perspective.  Check out Slack's "Carnivorous Plants" (OP),
Pietropaolo and Pietropaolos' "Carnivorous Plants of the World", Cheers'
"Carnivorous Plants of the World" (or similar title), and Lecouffle's
"Carnivorous Plants."  Also, be sure to examine Schnell's "Carnivorous
Plants of the United States and Canada, which is a hybrid
scientific-horticultural book.  Remember that a plant is not considered
carnivorous unless it has three specialized mechanisms--one for luring
animal (insect) prey, one for trapping and killing the prey, and one for
digesting the prey to make nutrients available for the plant's use.  There
are snap-traps (the Venus Flytrap and the bladderworts), sticky-traps
(sundews, butterworts, the dewey pine, a few others), and pitfall traps
(pitcher plants and the carnivorous bromeliad) as major divisions, with
variations and special cases on all.  Check out the books, also check out
the world-wide web carnivorous plant pages. 

Sean Barry
sjbarry at

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