[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants which trap food using a pitfall trap built into them through evolutionary design. They can be found in both of the Americas as well as Africa, Asia, and Australia, and usually grow in bogs, marshlands, and areas of waterlogged, acidic soil. Pitcher plants have developed a carnivorous habit to compensate for poor soil nutrition, but they are also capable of absorbing nutrients through their simple root systems. In addition to growing in the wild, pitcher plants are cultivated in many botanical gardens as a form of natural insect control, and can serve the same purpose in the home, as well as being decorative. In botanical gardens, pitcher plants are usually grown in warm, humid indoor environments.
The term pitcher plant is an umbrella name for plants in two families, Sarraceiniaceae and Nepenthaceae. In both, the leaves curl in on themselves to form tall, distinctive pitchers. The pitchers are often streaked with red to attract insects and lined with fine hairs and grooves so once insects fall in, they cannot escape. Water collects in the bottom of the pitcher, drowning unwitting insect visitors, and the plant secretes digestive enzymes to extract nutrients from the insects. In some cases, pitcher plants also live in a symbiotic relationship with insects in larval form, allowing the larvae to eat trapped insects and later consuming some of them.
Tropical Pitcher Plants, Nepenthes sp.