P. agnata

Oliver Gluch's
World of Carnivorous Plants

"What you always wanted to know about butterworts"


P. filifolia
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Dionaea muscipula (Venus Flytrap)  

For most people the Venus flytrap is the most known of all carnivorous plants. Even though nowadays propagated by millions through in vitro culture and easily available for low cost in garden centers, in the wild this species is growing in a very limited area along the coast of the US States of North and South Carolina.  Habitat destruction by pine tree plantations and draining for residential construction, but also poaching, leads to the fact that the Venus Flytrap is today a very endangered species.
The Venus flytrap has a unique mechanism of traps which is only known to another aquatic carnivorous plant species named Aldrovanda. The stimulation of the trigger hair by the prey on the inside of the trap initiates the fast closing of the traps. This way of catching prey remains the most spectacular among carnivorous plants.

Dionaea Green Swamp

Venus flytrap in the Green Swamp Preserve, North Carolina

The plants occur in wet pine savannas in either pure sandy soil or sandy soil with an organic layer on the surface. Due to bad draining the soils are normally continuously moist. But the plants withstand also short periods of flooding or temporary dry conditions. Frequent fires are necessary to burn the surrounding grass and bush vegetation to provide the plants with enough light to encourage exhuberant growth.  

Dionaea im Holly Shelter Swamp

Plants with reddish coloration of the traps, Holly Shelter Swamp, North Carolina

In late autumn the leaves of the plants turn black and die as the plants survives the winter months with a rhizome underneath the soil surface. In early spring the plants begin again to form new leaves with traps. Mid of April the Venus flytrap is forming the first flower scapes, that can reach up to 30 cm. In August the plants are forming numerous black seed, with which the plants can be easily propagated.

Dionaea Holly Shelter Swamp

Venus flytraps with newly forming flower scapes

Dionaea Holly Shelter Swamp

Red coloured trap with trigger hairs; once a prey is touching those hairs at least
2 times in a short period of time, the trap is closing immediately

Dionaea Holly Shelter Swamp

Flowers of Venus flytraps

In its natural habitat Dionaea muscipula occurs together with other carnivorous plant species from the genus Drosera, Pinguicula, Sarracenia und Utricularia.