Friday, May 28, 2010

Man eating plant - or should that be plant eating man?

A Sun Dew - insectivorous plant from Wells Gray Provincial Park


When you think of the carnivorous plants you think of the jungles of the Amazon and the hot steamy climates of the south. But, there are carnivorous plants right in our own backyard - that is assuming you have a big backyard that includes Wells Gray Provincial Park.

A number of the bogs up in the park are home to the insectivorous Sun Dew. The Sun Dew, like the other insectivorous plants evolved this way to make up for minerals lacking in the soil, and consequently, are found in bogs exhibiting very similar characteristics. I guess the bog nature is a substrate that is basically dead plant material with no, or very few, minerals present.

As kids we would bring plant specimens home and try to feed them. The show wasn't quite the snapping and growling and great struggle that we had envisioned. For the most part, the Sun Dews could only hold very small insects and it was somewhat like watching paint dry.

Next time you're out and about and come by a potential Sun Dew habitat, typically a pond that is slowly transforming to a marsh, get down on your hands and knees and see if you can find this diminutive predatory plant. Remember - don't get your fingers too close!

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Please feel free to leave a comment. Ever since old Rebel rolled on me and I've been strapped to this old hospital bed I've enjoyed whatever posts come my way.