50 Interesting Venus Flytrap facts

Everyone knows that there are carnivores in the animal kingdom but did you know there are some plants out there that are considered as "Carnivores"? Yes, one such carnivorous plant has a beautiful name – the Venus fly trap! Now, if you want to know about some really interesting facts about this extraordinary creation of nature then read on.

The Flytrap Encyclopedia for Kids and Children

1. Family Background

The biological name of the Venus flytrap is Dionaea muscipula. Unlike humans, this plant doesn’t have brains, nervous system, and muscles, and yet it can trap insects and swallow them.

2. Habitat

The Venus flytrap is a mysterious plant that is native to the savannas and coastal bogs of the North and South Carolina.

3. The Enticing Looks

This mysterious plant has enticing looks. The leaves of this small plant are in the shape of a mouth or jaws. On the outside, the leaf color is green and the color inside the mouth or jaws is bright red.

4.  Jaws of Death

Did you know the Venus flytrap plant is also known as the "Jaws of Death"? It is a plant with gaping jaws that lies in wait for a fly to alight into its mouth and then the jaws just shut tightly enough to trap the fly. The leaf consists of 14-20 teeth on each side, which means a total of 28-40 teeth that act as the upper and lower jaws!

5. Eating Habits

​Can the Venus flytrap eat a human? No! Definitely not! It is a small plant that loves to eat anything that flies or crawls into its jaws. Its favorite food includes fly, black ants, red ants, wasp, caterpillar, beetle, grasshopper, and even small frogs.

6. Need for Speed

​How fast is the Venus flytrap? Well! This mysterious and yet dangerous plant can close its jaw within seconds or a blink of an eye once an insect lands in its jaws. The speed with which it shuts the trap is one-tenth of a second.

7. How does the trap shut?

What will happen if raindrops fall into the trap? Will it shut? No! The Venus flytrap has trigger hairs within its mouth and they need to be touched twice within 20 seconds for the trap to shut. There are 3 trigger hairs on the inside of each leaf. 

Raindrops normally don’t fall in the same place within 20 seconds and it has a highly specialized mechanism that is able to distinguish between prey and non-prey. When a prey alights in the trap and touches one hair twice in quick succession then automatically the trap shuts.

8. Do they flower?

​Surprisingly yes! The Venus flytrap may be a carnivore but it flowers once in a year, usually around spring. It also produces shiny black seed and here’s the most startling fact – this plants usually die after producing flower and seed!

Fun Facts about the Venus Flytrap

9. The Great admirer Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin known most popularly as the "father of evolution" was a great admirer of the mysterious Venus flytrap. He was surprised and spellbound by the speed with which it traps insects and its striking adaptation. In 1875, he said that this plant is definitely "one of the most wonderful plants in the world."

10. Glowing Blue

This beautiful carnivore has the ability to emit a faint blue glow especially in the night to attract their next prey. This blue glow can be seen only if you use "fluorescent lamps".

11. The Venus flytrap Robot!

The jaws of the Venus flytraps are so interesting that scientific and robotic studies have been carried out. In fact, Mohsen Shahinpoor, a mechanical engineer from the University of Maine has successfully built a robotic venus flytrap with metallic jaws and yes, it can catch insects and bugs!

12. State Carnivorous Plant

Can you beat this – the Venus flytrap has been designated as the "State Carnivorous Plant" of the state of North Carolina in 2005. It is the only carnivorous plant to get such recognition!

13. Lead role in Horror Movies

The reputation of the Venus flytrap has led it to be used in horror movies. In fact, An American horror film of the same name was released in 1970. Another American black comedy and horror film known as "The Little Shop of Horrors" was released in 1960 and focused on the Venus flytrap.

14. Long digestion time

The total time for digestion in humans can vary from 24 to 72 hours, but with Venus flytraps, digestion can take almost 10 days. Post digestion, all that remains is the exoskeleton of the insect.

15. Can starve for long

A human can live without food for 3 weeks, lions can live without food for 14 days, snakes can live without food for almost six months and Venus flytraps can live without food for 1-2 months.

16 Garden Of Carnivores

The Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden in Wilmington, North Carolina is dedicated to all types of carnivorous plants including Venus flytraps. It was started by Stanley Rehder, a horticulturist and he was popularly known as the "Flytrap Man."

17. Important roles in Comics

The Venus flytraps do have quite the personality and have been featured in several different comic books including Agent Provocateur comic book, The ATOM comic from DC, Spiderman comics, and Isla Bonale among others.

18. Venus Flytraps and Indie Hip Hop

Indie Hip Hop artist from Detrit, Esham releases an album named "VENUS FLYTRAP" in 2012. Although the cover picture is more like a horrifying and mutated image of the Venus flytrap, the album is considered by many as a provocative release.

19. Venus flytrap – A clothing Brand

This carnivore plant has definitely made quite the news because there is a clothing brand in Australia called "Venus flytrap". There is another brand called Flytrap™ Clothing operating out of Mayberry-esque Pittsboro, NC.

20. Nike goes "FLY TRAP"

If you thought you are through with Venus flytrap clothing brands then think again! Nike, one of the top sports brands in the world released KYRIE 1 "FLY TRAP" on February 27, 2015. The main highlight is the “Fly Trap” color way. This green and red based color way has been inspired by the carnivore plant and it resembles the jaws of the plant.

21. Relation to Venus

The Venus flytrap plant has derived its name from the Roman goddess of love-Venus. The name of its genus is Dionaea, which means daughter of Dione and refers to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess. The species name is muscipula, which in Latin means "mousetrap".

22. "Tipitiwitchet"

No! It is not a tongue twister but a slang name often given to the Venus flytrap plant. It is referred to as "tippity twitchet" or "tipitiwitchet", which comes from the fact that the plant has somewhat resemblance to the female genitalia.

23 No Fossil Evidence!

Surprisingly, the Venus flytrap plant doesn’t have any fossil evidence and hence their history or evolution cannot be traced properly.

24. Used for Herbal Medicine

Venus flytrap plants are used as herbal extracts and given the name "Carnivora". It is used as alternative medicine for treatment of a variety of ailments including Crohn's disease, HIV, and skin cancer.

25. Anti-microbial effects of Venus flytrap

Researchers in Japan have revealed that the in Venus flytrap plant contains a substance called Plumbagin. This substance is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-malarial effect.

Facts about Venus Flytrap Gardening & Plant Care

26. Venus Flytraps in your garden

Yes, you can bring home Venus Flytraps for your garden. They not only look enchanting but also remove the menacing insects from the garden. These plants are usually available in small pots and can be bought from garden supply stores.

27. Venus Flytraps needs Vitamin D

Venus flytrap plants need almost 14 hours of sunlight every day and hence it cannot be considered as an indoor plant.

28. No Fertilizers Please!

Venus flytrap plants can thrive in well drained and nutrient poor soil. If you add fertilizer to the soil then these plants will die!

29. No potting soil!

If you are planning to pot your Venus flytraps then refrain from using potting soil. It will kill the plant! Instead prepare a mix of peat along with pumice, sphagnum moss, perlite and sand

30. Goes Dormant for long periods

Venus flytraps almost always go dormant for a period varying from 4 to 5 months. This is called winter dormancy. Dormant doesn’t means they are dead!

31. The flytrap propagation

Venus flytrap propagation can be done through leaf cuttings, bulbs, division, and seed.

32. Slow growth rate

The Venus flytrap if grown from the seed can take as much as 5 years to grow into an adult plant. Patience is important if you are planning to grow them from seeds.

33. Tap water kills!

The Venus flytrap cannot tolerate tap water, which usually contains chemicals and other pollutants. It is always advisable to use rain water, distilled water, and water from an RO system.

34. No Hamburgers!

It is a fact that people have often misunderstood this little creature and often given it small pieces of meat and even hamburger. Such food will kill the Venus flytrap!

35. Don’t feed it too often!

There are many people who tend to feed the flytrap bugs and insects if they see their flytrap is not catching any. The fact is that each flytrap can open 3-5 times in the entire span of the plant. If you feed it food forcibly inducing it to open the trap more than 5 times then it will kill the plant!

36. Lifecycle of a Venus flytrap

The Venus flytrap can take anywhere from 4-5 years to reach maturity and can live anywhere from 20-25 years if it is well taken care of.

37. Dead leaves should be removed

The Venus flytrap like any other plant sheds leaves. Normally, the dead leaves turn black and remain in the pot. These leaves should be removed using tweezers to give the plant more space to grow.

38. Less water requirement in Dormancy

When the Venus flytrap plant goes into dormancy, its need for water also diminishes. Keeping the soil moist will harm the plant by causing fungus infection.

39. Need for water

During the active growth season, the Venus flytrap plant should be watered every 2-5 days and in the dormancy period, it should be watered every 10-15 days.

40. Should not freeze to death

The Venus flytrap plant cannot survive harsh freezing conditions. It should be kept indoors or in a warm place for optimum growth.

41. Pots for growing should be chosen carefully

When choosing a pot for the Venus flytrap plant, a variety of aspects need to be considered and they include size, container type and material, insulation, and color.

42. Growth is different in different weather

Venus flytrap leaves grow differently in summers and winters.

Facts about venus fly trap problems

43. Insects threatening the Venus flytrap

There are several different types of insects that can damage your Venus flytrap plant and this includes thrips, mealybugs, and aphids.

44. Growing mold can kill the Plant

Mold in the soil means high levels of humidity. The soil needs to be moist and not wet. Humidity can kill the Venus flytraps.

45. Beware of Fungus Gnats

Fungus Gnats, especially adults can be quite harmful for the Venus flytrap plants as their larvae can damage stems, leaves, and roots of the plant.

46. Fungal and Bacterial Diseases

Venus flytrap plants are prone to a variety of fungal and bacterial diseases. Anaerobic bacteria and fungal outbreaks can occur in moist mediums and can cause the plant to rot and die. The best treatment is the use of sulfur based fungicides if the plant already has a fungal infection like black leaves.

47. Spider mite infestation

The Venus flytrap is prone to spider mite infestation. Spider mites have the ability to reproduce rapidly and a small colony can create thousands within a span of 2-3 weeks. They suck the juice from the cells of the leaf and slowly the leaf turns brown, withers and then dies.

48. Use of insecticides can keep mites at bay

The Venus flytrap is prone to red spider, and spotted spider mite infestation. The best way to take care of the venus fly trap plant is by using systemic insecticides and superficial insecticides.

49. Carpet Moss can be threatening

Carpet moss is most threatening to young Venus flytraps. The carpet moss can form a solid mat that is extremely thick and can suffocate the growth of the Venus flytrap plant. This can lead to death of the plant.

50. Insecticide treatments necessary to save plant

Insecticide treatments are necessary to save a Venus flytrap plant from different infestations. Acephate also known as organophosphate insecticide is considered as one of the best systemic insecticides. Pentac (dienochlor) powder is a powerful option for removing spider mites.

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