Carnivorous plants have turned the tables on food webs. Rather than insects munching on plants, these plants chow down on insects.
The “traps” of yellow pitcher plants (Sarracenia flava) – one of several carnivorous plant species native to the Southeast — are actually modified leaves. The flap (or operculum) prevents rain from entering the pitcher. The opening to the pitcher lures insects with nectar, but any bug that reaps the sweet reward will find a very slippery surface. Plop!! There it goes into the digestive fluids at the bottom of the trap.
In North Carolina, the yellow pitcher plant can be found […]