Monday, June 16, 2008

Look Out for Carnivores!

Last weekend, we had a booth at a local arts, crafts, and music festival. This festival also leaves room for some vendors of a different sort. There are vendors selling locally handcrafted foods, such as artisan breads or local jams. There are also a few plant vendors. There is an amazing daylily hybridizer, a old man with gorgeous, affordable bonzais, and a couple that specializes in carnivorous plants.

I return to the carnivorous plant dealer every year and buy something new. They always remember me, too, and remember which plant I bought the year before and ask about its progress!

So this year I bought a pitcher plant. They seem so exotic and primitive. However, my dear plant friends tell me that they are actually native to this area and can survive the winter outside! These pitcher plants don't need to be fed like a Venus fly trap. They look innocent, but they really work.

Last night some ants found an in, through my kitchen window where the pitcher plant sits. The pitcher plant has a sweet nectar that attracts bugs, so the ants made a bee line for the plant. They marched right into the pitchers and could not get out! Amazing! The plant is beautiful and effective - I think the pitchers look like little heads all craning their necks in the same direction.

Last year I bought a Venus fly trap from the couple. We've all had one at times, right? And we killed them. Well, I have learned from my friends that often our little friends don't die, they go dormant. If you give them some time, they come back out again. What will kill them is chlorinated water, so give them bottled water or water that has been sitting out for 24 or more hours.

So what about the first photo of the flowers? What does that have to do with any of this? Well, my yuccas are in bloom and they are gorgeous. Are they carnivorous? Technically, no. But they will gouge your eyes out when you try to weed around them and slice the kids legs as they run by. They seem to like to make people bleed. Does that count?


High Desert Diva said...

Love the pitcher plant!

I just planted a bunch of yuccas. The flowers are so pretty...but I'll be sure to watch out for the sharp blades

Start To Finish Supplies said...

Great article! I wish I could find a vendor like that around here. Your pictures are amazing!