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Venus Fly Traps and Carnivorous Plants

Biting Blossoms

Labor Day is drawing near, and a multitude of activities are planned for this unofficial end of the summer holiday weekend.  One somewhat peculiar yet undeniably intriguing thought for people staying close to home is a stop over to Tower Hill Botanical Garden to catch the Carnivorous Plant Show, presented by The New England Carnivorous Plant Society.
Hmm, so you’re a bit curious about these absorbing wonders?

Well, carnivorous plants typically grow in areas where nutrients are lacking, like acidic wetlands or even certain sandy soils.  They tend to attract and trap prey (chiefly insects, but sometimes even small fish, frogs, or rodents) when other nutrient sources are unavailable.  To be considered a true carnivore, the plant must kill and digest its victim and benefit from its nutrients.  Naturally, this variety of plant life has evolved through the years, and some produce amazing flowers.  One recognizable type in North America is the Venus flytrap, native to subtropical areas of the Eastern United States.  Still, there are numerous species in varied areas throughout the world but roughly only five basic trapping mechanisms.  The mechanisms are as follows:

Bladder Traps.  Bladder traps have small openings that suck in prey.  Once the victims are vacuumed inside, they are digested.

Pitfall traps.  Pitfall traps confine prey in cuplike leaves that fill with rain.  The slippery nature of the cup often prevents victims from getting out.  Because of this, they drown and their nutrients are taken in.

Flypaper traps.  Flypaper trap plants contain a nectar-looking, glue-like substance that snares prey.  Once stuck in the trap, victims die and become absorbed.

Snap traps.  Snap traps shut when victims touch the plant’s trigger hairs.  The aforementioned Venus flytrap is a classic example of a snap trap.

Lobster-pot traps.  Lobster-pot traps have an easy to enter chamber but difficult to access exit, as inner hairs act to some extent like a mystifying maze.

And specifics regarding the actual show?

The event will take place on Saturday, September 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, September 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  As many flora lovers know, Tower Hill Botanical Garden is located at 11 French Drive in Boylston, Massachusetts.  The Carnivorous Plant Show is included in Tower Hill’s general admission price.  The entry fee is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors 65 and over, and $7 for youngsters 6-18: members and children under 6 get in free.  Keep in mind there will be so much more to see at this beloved location above and beyond predatory plants.

For further details pertaining to this kind of eerie yet rather captivating happening, go to http://www.towerhillbg.org/index.php/visit/what-s-happening/flower-shows/carnivorous-plant-show/

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