What is Venus flytrap?

The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous and a perennial plant that traps and eats insects.

The predator waits patiently while its prey wanders about, unaware of the danger that lurks just inches away. A fatal mistake is about to happen, the sweet smelling sap of the predator pulls the unsuspecting prey to settle and taste the sap. One swift snap, and the jaws of the predator close around the naïve prey's body. There is a slight struggle, but soon the plant settles down to digest the tasty meal.

Plants eating animals, one sure has got to be kidding! It simply sounds like a genetic experiment gone awry, and plants really don’t eat animals! No way! Well, yes way! There are carnivorous plants that exist on this planet from thousands of years, and in more than 500 different kinds. These plants have appetites ranging from insects and spiders to small aquatic organisms. One such carnivorous plant is the Venus flytrap; it attracts, captures, kills and digests other animal life forms.

The Venus Fly Trap belongs to the class Dionaea muscipula, and is native to the bogs and swamplands of North and South Carolina. It is a carnivore in nature, as it preys on insects with the uniquely shaped terminal portion of its leaves. The leaf has two primary regions: a broad flat typical leaf-like region called the leaf-base, which is capable of carrying out photosynthesis and grows out of the ground, and the trapping mechanism called the leaf-blade or lamina that is composed of two lobes which are hinged together by a midrib.

Usually, the plant sets a trap between the two and five "trigger hairs" on each lobe with three trigger hairs on each lobe being normal. The edge of the trap is lined with teeth or finger-like cilia that lace together when the trap shuts. The leaf-base and leaf-blade (trap) are joined together by what is referred to as the petiole.

Historically, the plant was known and called by the slang "tipitiwitchet" or "tippity twitchet"!! This mechanism of closing has fascinated biologists for many years. It is hard to believe that an inanimate plant can react so quickly to touch stimuli, however there is an explanation that, any change in the course of electricity running through the plants causes a reaction.

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