Chomp 2! Return of the Carnivorous Plants

Hurray for Chomp 2! Return of the Carnivorous Plants exhibition at the Conservatory of Flowers! Matti and I just checked it out. Peter D’Amato, author of The Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants, provided tons of specimens for the exhibition. Peter also owns one of the coolest nurseries around, California Carnivores in Sebastopol, CA.

Conservatory of Flowers

Did you know that the Conservatory was built from a kit? It opened back in 1879, but has had quite a bit of downtime due to fire, wind and accidents. In 2003 it reopened after being shut down for eight years.

Nepenthes in the aquatic plant section

Besides the current exhibition, the Conservatory of Flowers has an extensive collection of carnivorous plants including tropical Nepenthes in their aquatic section.

American Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia) Flower

So really…what is a carnivorous plant?  They are a group of plants native worldwide that trap and absorb nutrients from animals, typically insects.  Most famous is the Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula).  However, other common carnivorous plants include American Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia spp.), Tropical Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes spp.), Sundews (Drosera spp.), and Butterworts (Pinguicula spp.).

Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea)

Nepenthes mikei

This Nepenthes mikei was cool.  We never saw one with chocolate brown cups.

Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia)

More Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia sweetness)

American Pitchers (Sarracenia) and a Butterwort (Pinguicula)

I’ve never had a Butterwort before. Apparently Pinguicula means, “little greasy one” in Latin.

Tropical Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes)

We highly recommend adding one of these babies to your collection.  About two years ago got our first carnivorous plant; a free single rhizome we found on Craigslist.  We were instant fans, and now enjoy our 8-10 species.

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