Need To Know

How do Venus flytraps work?

Venus flytraps, like the rat-eating carnivorous plant, tend to grow
in boggy soil that’s low in nutrients, hence they need to find
another source of food to sustain them, namely insects that
happen to land on their leaves. These leaves are about eight to 15cm
long and are ‘hinged’ along the midline with spiny teeth around the
edges. The folding and trapping action is triggered by pressure on
six sensitive hairs that, when stimulated will snap the leaf shut
in about half a second, although the actual nature of the action
is still debated. As well as these sensitive hairs, the leaf also
has glands on its surface that secrete a sap which digests the
insect’s body. This process takes about ten days, after which
the leaf reopens.

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