Dionaea Muscipula (venus fly trap)

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Conchiolin
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Dionaea Muscipula (venus fly trap)

Post by Conchiolin » Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:21 am

Hello folks

This is my venus fly trap. It's quite a nice ornamental due to the fact that it is a carnivorous plant. It's not that difficult to maintain i keep the plant inside and water it very regularly (nearly drown it). It likes acidic conditions that's why it's important to grow them on sphagnum. Sphagnum is a kind of moss that keeps the soil acidic (for chemistry guys: It releases H+ ions in the soil making it acidic) so no way the plant is going to invade malta. (no water, no alkaline soil etc..)

The plant captures the insect for nitrates and phosphates so no fertilizer must be given otherwise the plant dies. This year i'm trying to pollinate the flowers so to obtain seeds. The thing is these were artificially propagated (tissue cultures, hormones etc.) so there are no genetic differences between 2 plants. If the venus is not self-pollinating no seeds will form.

Check out how the plants captures and digests its prey:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/venus-flytrap.htm

I wonder how could natural selection and adaptation lead to this kind of plant???????

Some pics:
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The exoskeleton of a fly which was digested.
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HPIM1841.JPG
The flowers have quite a strong sweet smell.
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Post by MWP admin » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:50 am

I was going to buy one last year but I thought it takes lots of care and is a sophisticated plant. Reading your comments here I will buy one to get rid of some flies.

Are the fly trapping structures specialised leaves?

Looking at the flower, it looks like to be a member of the ranunculus family.

Thanks for posting
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Conchiolin
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Post by Conchiolin » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:09 am

Yes they are in fact they have 3 trigger hairs that when are stimulated twice the leave closes immediately. If you have a healthy plant the leaves will close in a fraction of a second. If leaves are healthy they may also produce a faint smell that attracts insects and they also will have a red colouration in the middle.

After some time the modified leaves become inactive and just for photosynthesis.

The only thing you will need for this plant is strong sunlight, plenty of water and a supply of peat moss and some flies or slugs. But don't bother about the latter, she will trap them itself.

Take extra care during hibernation for fungal deseases.

Have fun!
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