Little Wonders Series’ Fifth Episode


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant
Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
Subkingdom: Embryophyta
Division: Tracheophyta (Vascular Plants)
Subdivision: Spermatophyta (Seed Plants)
Class: Angiosperms (Flowering Plants)
Subclass: Monocotyledons (Monocots)
Families: Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae

There’s more to this Pitcher Plant’s leaf than meets the eye. The deeply folded leaf that resembles to a pitcher stores a sweet-smelling juice can actually lure insects into its mouth. When an unwary insect goes into the pitcher to sip the liquid, the inevitable happens: It can no longer go out because it just flailed helplessly in the fluid. Just like animals with canines, the pitcher plant minces the poor thing through the juice in it. This liquid is no ordinary nectar; it contains chemicals similar to bile that aids in its slow mincing of the prey until it completely dissolves. The poor insect then becomes a part of the very juice it tried to drink.

Another unusual thing is that it actually took millions of years before these simple, harmless leaves became carnivorous. Nature itself favored the growth of leaves with larger dents until it became like the thing you see in the photo. The plant evolved because it has found that eating small insects could give its body the necessary proteins, nitrogen, and other minerals that it couldn’t easily suck from the soil.

You might be thinking that when it’s raining, the leaves might get choked from taking too much rain water. Well, according to what I read, the plant can readily defend himself from this possible danger through the use of its operculum — the lid that is positioned right on top of each of these pitcher-like structures. Operculum acts like an umbrella to prevent too much water from penetrating into the pitcher when it’s raining.

For more unusual information about this plant, visit this site: www.carnivorous plants.com.

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45 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful exciting images and a narrative post that breathes adventure. Bro, you always give a post that inspires our childhood imagination. Fun, colorful, thrilling. Thank you for that. Wishing you and your family the best…

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Thank you, Bro, for letting me always know that I inspire. That’s already a lot to handle and be happy for. 🙂

      Like

  2. nelson RN says:

    That’s very informative, Sony! I am learning a lot from your posts. I wonder if this pitcher plant has a local name. Very interesting!

    Like

    1. nelson RN says:

      *iF this pitcher plant…

      Like

      1. Sony Fugaban says:

        So far, I don’t know of any local name for the plant, but I’ll let you know just in case.

        Like

  3. Madman says:

    Excellent, I got to learn something 🙂 How tall is that “beast”?

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      It’s just a small wonder, sir. That’s just about 5 inches.

      Like

  4. Ironically I, too, have written about a similar plant; the Lady’s Slipper orchid. I grow orchids for a hobby. I took my photo at an orchid sale – where I should not have been purchasing; I have 45 orchids. I think your image showcases the orchid in it’s natural environment which would be so exciting for me if I could ever photograph one in nature. Your description is very good. A lot of details covered. Well done ….
    Isadora ~~~ : – )

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      ISADORA, thank you very much for the comment. Somehow, your beautiful words put me on cloud nine whenever I read them.

      Like

  5. cocomino says:

    Interesting and there are a lot of things to learn. 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Thanks, cocomino. It’s an accomplishment for if I am able to inform …

      Like

  6. Eric Murtaugh says:

    That’s one badass plant!

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      He is … small but terrible!

      Like

  7. That is a very strange looking leaf… wish it was clearer so we can appreciate the details but something is better than nothing 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Exactly. Given the chance, I will of course get a better picture. Honestly, I still didn’t know how to use the macro mode of my cam that time. 😦

      Like

  8. Jo Bryant says:

    what a great post…i have never seen or heard of this one…thanks for the share

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      You are so welcome, Jo. Thanks too!

      Like

  9. Bonnie says:

    This is amazing! Even more awesome is the fact that you got to see it in person. 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      It is, Bonnie! 🙂

      Like

  10. 2e0mca says:

    The carniverous plants are all a little unusual – nice idea for the challenge.

    Like

  11. bluebee says:

    Is this the carnivorous pant that smells so awful, Sony?

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I think the awful one you were referring to is a different species.

      Like

  12. Fascinating Sony! An unusual amazing fascinating Pitcher Plant. Kinda scary too 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Oh it’s not scary at all, believe me. They are so cute in flesh!

      Like

  13. viviene says:

    What a nice picture.. Good job, Sony!

    BTW, I just tagged you.. =D check out my blog and find out about it.

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I did, Viviene. And I’m so gonna go back because my situation will call me for it. That’s all for now.

      Like

  14. Great narrative to go with the photograph

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Mike, I know how great your photos are and for you to appreciate my work sure is a compliment. Thanks!

      Like

  15. Thank you for an informative post. I learned something from this unusual plant.

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I’m glad to hear that you learned something from this post.

      Like

  16. eof737 says:

    This is fascinating! 🙂

    Like

  17. Arindam says:

    wonderful post. I still remember studying about this Pitcher Plant during my school days. The description you gave was similar to what i read at that time. But I never imagined that I could see this plants real photo any day. If I remember it correctly, then this one is also called as “funnel plant ” due to its shape.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this one Sony. Great work.

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Thanks for letting me know that this plant is also called a funnel plant. That I don’t know. Thanks, Arin!

      Like

  18. There’s a really cool pitcher plant farm in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. It’s owned by a nice German guy who knows everything there is to know about pitcher plants. He’s more than happy to give tours and lectures to visitors. I stayed overnight at his farm and had a blast with big time pitcher plant geekfest. You should drop by at his farm if you ever find yourself in Bukidnon.

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I saw that in your recent blog posts. I was actually amazed because the plant is teeming in your place like it’s just an ordinary plant.

      Like

  19. aRVee says:

    very unusual indeed my friend… i have not seen this before… nice entry 🙂

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Arvs, daghang salamat! I hope you’ll get to actively participate in the challenge very soon.

      Like

      1. aRVee says:

        hey sonyboy, yeah I’m very busy lately… thanks my friend 🙂

        Like

  20. willofheart says:

    this is very informative sony thank you so much for sharing….

    Like

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      You’re welcome. Thank you too for saying that this post is informative. 😉

      Like

  21. munchow says:

    Great and inspiring writings! And yes, the photo isn’t really focused on the Pitcher Plant, but I like it. It has some spontaneity and excitement about it – and offers a different view than the usual literal one.

    Like

  22. Kenny says:

    Nice collection of photos. Cheers!

    Like

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