Carnivorous Plants of the World


Timber Press, Incorporated (March 1, 2005) 206 pages
ISBN-10: 0881923567/ ISBN-13: 978-0881923568
Although carnivorous plants do include predatory species that trap, kill and digest animal victims, none of them are "man-eating." Contrary to some sci-fi movies, there are no carnivorous plants capable of trapping people. Some tropical pitcher plants may be large enough to trap small amphibians, but generally their diet is chiefly insects. The huge Malaysian arum called "devil's tongue" or krubi (Amorphophallus titanum) may produce an erect flower stalk or spadix over 8 feet (2.4 m) tall from a huge vase-shaped, pleated spathe over four feet (1.2 m) tall and 12 feet (4 m) in circumference. This floral giant develops from a tuber measuring 6 feet (2 m) in circumference and weighing over 100 pounds (46 kg). Although it may appear like a giant carnivorous plant, it is completely harmless to people--unless you take a deep breath of its foul, carrion-like stench. The enormous blossom generates such an overwhelming smell that people have been known to pass out from taking too close a whiff.
Few groups of plants capture the imagination like these carnivores, which act as predators rather than prey. Among the best known are the Venus fly trap and the various pitcher plants; these and many others are covered

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