Friday, July 8, 2016

Flower Pot

Sarracenia purpurea, the native Pitcher Plant of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, is a carnivore. The soils in which it thrives are nutrient poor. Thus it supplements its diet with insects.

Yep it eats bugs.

We have several in our yard, the one shown below is in a pot in our fish pond.

If you bigafy the image you'll see little downward pointing hairs inside the pitchers. Insects find their way into the pitcher but find the hair barrier to much to make their way out. And the walls are to close for many insects to fully open their wings. Exhausted, they eventually fall into the water in the pitcher and are absorbed, dissolved by enzymes secreted by the plant.

So it was curious to see a plant growing out of one of the pitchers.

Seems a seed found its way in. And the remains of the dissolved insects provided a substrate in which to germinate and grow.

Obviously, the enzymes do not dissolve plant matter (or it would eat itself!).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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