The pitcher plant takes its name from the odd shape of its leaf that makes it look like a water pitcher. The pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant that uses its capacity to hold rainwater and dew to its advantage.
An unsuspecting bug that lands on the pitcher plant, attracted by the colorful leaves, will follow a nectar-baited path down to the curving inside of the plant. Once there it finds escape all but impossible as downward-pointing hairs block its way.
The insect eventually falls into the pitcher plant's collection of rainwater and digestive enzymes that dissolve it into a nutritious mix that the plant absorbs. From this the plant produces more flowers and grows to a larger size.
Botanists categorize the pitcher plant as a carnivorous plant since it captures not only insects but other types of prey such as spiders, mites and sometimes even small frogs
Pitcher plants in the United States typically grow in bogs and in flat woodlands. The plant has the ability to grow in acidic soils that cannot support other types of plants.
Spiders and beetles will hang out around a pitcher plant to dine on the insects attracted to it. Spiders actually build a web inside the plant on occasion.
pitcher plant, carnivorous, digestive enzymes
About this Author
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.