Index- plants in this Family
Droseraceae / Sundews
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 30cm in height (12inches).
Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. The leaves consist of two hinged lobes with spines on their margins and three sensitive hairs on the upper surface that cause the leaf to fold when stimulated. Once folded the spines mesh trapping insects. Each leaf is on a winged petiole that looks more like what we think of as a leaf than the actual leaf.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 2.5cm wide (1 inches). They are white. Blooms first appear in mid spring and continue into early summer. The flowers are in a cluster at the end of a scape.
Habitat: Wet sandy areas, bogs and savannas in soils leached of soluble nutrients.
Range: Mainly the coastal plain of North Carolina and South Carolina. Also reported from Delaware, New Jersey and Florida. Rare

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This moist unusual plant traps insects to supplement its diet. Unlike other carnivorous plants that have a passive trap this one actually moves. It rapidly closes the leaf as soon as an insect, or anything else, touches any of the three sensitive hairs on the surface of the leaf. The plant then extracts nutrients from the insect and the leaf and the leaf withers. This added nutrition enables the plant to survive in soils that few plants could tolerate.

Lore: The Cherokee thought it would attract fish if they chewed a small piece and spit on the bait.(Hamel/Chiltoskey)

See the links below this image for other images. (2)
© Daniel Reed   E-mail      Image use policy

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Venus Flytrap leaf showing insect inside  © Daniel Reed
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) in habitat.  © James Henderson

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Monocots / One Seed Leaf



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