Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dissecting a Northern Pitcher Plant

Northern Pitcher-plant (Purple Pitcher-plant)
Sarracenia purpurea
This is a carnivorous plant. Insects become trapped in the pitcher-like leaves. The insects are then digested, and the nutrients used by the plants.

So in an early post from last summer, I told the story (here) of my idea of getting wasps in the solarium to eat the aphids.  I had also gotten a northern pitcher plant to help with the aphid problem.

Today I wondered why the leaves that ate the wasps died.  I snipped off the largest one.  (I'm thinking it's not coming back to life this summer.)

See?  It's still green at the bottom.


The Dissection!

OHHH!  Check out all those bugs!!!

I can even see lady bugs in there!!!

AH HA!!!   There is a clog!  Can you see that wasp???  The head is way down there not attached to the body.  And that's where the green part starts!  Amazing.  Is there Metamucile for Pitcher Plants?  :-)

So---I may have to try to wash the other one out to see if I can unclog it and save the leaf!  I learn something new every day!
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