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Back to Inner World of Carnivorous Plants This movie shows a Trumpet-pitcher leaf trap belonging to the Sarraceniaceae family. These plants grow in areas of poor nutrition and produce vessel-shaped leaves which act as pitfall traps catching insects which provide valuable nutrients. There are around ten species in the Sarracenia genus with traps ranging in size from a couple of centimetres to a meter in height. An example of some Sarracenia plants are shown in botanical drawings and photographs.

How do the traps work?

Insects are attracted to the tall conical pitcher leaf traps by lures of scent and nectar secreted by the peristome at the entrance to the mouth of the trap. One species, Sarracenia flava, secretes Coniine in its nectar, a poisonous alkaloid which may paralyse prey. Insects attracted to the trap fall in and are digested, providing valuable nutrients to the plant. A lid prevents rainwater from diluting digestive juices containing enzymes secreted by the leaf.

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modified on 26 June 2013 at 12:46 ••• 2,323 views