What Is a Venus’ Flytrap?
A Venus’ flytrap is a small, insect-eating plant. The leaves of this plant can fold along the center and close up like a trap. On each leaf are tiny trigger hairs. When an insect steps into the open trap, it brushes against the trigger hairs. The leaf closes up, trapping the insect inside. After the insect is digested, the leaf opens again.
Even though it eats insects, the Venus’ flytrap is a green plant and makes its own food as well. But certain minerals are missing from the soil in which it grows. The soil that Venus Fly Traps grow in is nitrogen poor and acidic. Without an ample supply of nitrogen, it is difficult for a plant to synthesize protein, and thus grow. It gets these minerals from the insects it traps.
Each insect that a Venus fly trap catches and digests is like a little piece of fertilizer for the plant, giving it a small boost of nutrients to promote growth. After a Venus flytrap captures an insect it takes approximately 10 days for it to completely digest the insect and reopen the trap.
The Venus Fly Trap is native to the bogs and swamplands of North and South Carolina. Oklahoma has a state cartoon character, New Mexico has a state question, and North Carolina has a state carnivorous plant: The honor deservingly went to the Venus Flytrap in 2005.