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Types of Venus Fly Traps

house fly image by vashistha pathak from

A Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a well-known carnivorous plant that has gained popularity for its snap (or steel) trap. If an insect walks across two or more of these hairs, the leaf will close quickly and slowly digest the insect with enzymes within its jaws. After the finished meal, the jaws open back up. There is only one type of Venus fly trap since it is a monotypic genus, but scientists have created different cultivars. They all have one constant though: the spiky mouth closes when something brushes against it.

Dragon Fly Trap

The dragon fly trap is the most common variety to grow indoors, with three cultivars within it: the Petite Dragon, the Red Dragon and the Green Dragon. These differ in size and color, but all of the traps face straight upward. The Green Dragon is a robust grower and has a red internal trap, but a green mouth with green spikes. The trap is about 1.5 centimeter in diameter. It was created while the red dragon was being cultivated. The Petite dragon is the smallest Venus fly trap variety and is a smaller version of the green dragon with bifurcated flower stalks and a more reddish hue. It has smaller traps, about 15 millimeters in diameter. The Red Dragon, also known as Akai Ryu in Japanese, was developed in Atlanta and is about the same size as the Green Dragon. It is dark red, turning maroon in bright sunlight, with red spikes. The only green noted on the Red Dragon is a small amount in the center of the trap that shows up during winter season.

Wacky Traps

This aptly named variety has an oddly shaped trap that looks more like leaves than the usual mouth-like opening on the other varieties. The leaves and petioles are thicker than any other cultivar. The shape is because the trap never completely develops, so the leaf lobes have a jagged structure. It is an extremely slow grower and doesn't perform very well. It is more valued for its strange appearance. The trap isn't as deep as the others and the colors of the trap are light pink and cream, while the rest of the plant is green. Also, the traps are very slow to close, taking several minutes even with repeated motion.

Clayton's Red Sunset

Clayton's Red Sunset is a stunning variety that has a shimmering red color which makes it a very attractive houseplant. The only thing that isn't red on the fly trap is the teeth, which are yellow. It has long, skinny petioles and always remains red, even when it loses its leaves in the winter (all other red varieties keep at least some of the leaves). It is a deeper darker red than most other red cultivars. It becomes almost black in full sun. The trap is about 2 centimeters in diameter, but the entire plant can grow up to 10 inches across.

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