pitcher plant


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pitcher plant,

any of several insectivorous plants with leaves adapted for trapping insects. Each leaf forms a "pitcher," a somewhat trumpet-shaped enclosure, usually containing a liquid. An insect that enters, lured by nectar and sometimes by brilliant coloration, is prevented from retreating by deflexed bristles and ultimately is drowned in the fluid. The trapped insects are apparently digested by plant enzymes and perhaps by bacteria present in the collected rainwater solution. There are three families of pitcher plants. The American family (the Sarraceniaceae) comprises three genera of bog plants, Sarracenia of E North America, Darlingtonia of N California and adjacent Oregon (the single species is D. californica), and Heliamphora of N South America. The common pitcher plant, or side-saddle flower (S. purpurea), is found in bogs from Labrador to Florida and Iowa. The Nepenthaceae, an Old World tropical family, ranging from China to Australia and Pacifica and found chiefly in Borneo, consists of the single genus Nepenthes. Many of its species and hybrids, sometimes also called monkey cups, are cultivated as novelties for their large and showy pendent pitchers. The largest pitchers are found in Nepenthes species, some of which are apparently modified to attract small mammals to feed on their nectar so that the pitchers can catch the animals' feces. The Australian pitcher plant (Cephalotus follicularis) is the single species of the family Cephalotaceae. The bottom leaves of its low rosette are modified into brightly colored, slipper-shaped receptacles with lids and teeth. Other insectivorous plants include the bladderwortbladderwort
, any plant of the genus Utricularia, insectivorous or carnivorous aquatic plants, many native to North America. Small animals are caught and digested in bladderlike organs of the finely divided submerged leaves.
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, butterwort, Venus's-flytrapVenus's-flytrap,
insectivorous or carnivorous bog plant (Dionaea muscipula) native to the Carolina savannas and now widely cultivated as a novelty. The leaves, borne in a low rosette, resemble bear traps.
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, and sundew.

pitcher plant

[′pich·ər ‚plant]
(botany)
Any of various insectivorous plants of the families Sarraceniaceae and Nepenthaceae; the leaves form deep pitchers in which water collects and insects are drowned and digested.

pitcher plant

any of various insectivorous plants of the genera Sarracenia, Darlingtonia, Nepenthes, and Cephalotus, having leaves modified to form pitcher-like organs that attract and trap insects, which are then digested
References in periodicals archive ?
Trap surfaces that work only when wet also evolved in North American and Australian pitcher plants.
A Junction City plant collector is expected to plead guilty this week to a federal charge of illegally importing an endangered species for bringing rare, carnivorous pitcher plants into the United States.
SLIPS was inspired by the slippery surface of the carnivorous pitcher plant, which enables the plant to capture insects.
It's breathtaking to watch as sped-up footage reveals a creeper literally lasso itself on to a nearby leaf, while the 3D effects allow you to almost sit inside a pitcher plant and fearfully look on as it devours an insect.
Even though the forest offered different kinds of hideaways for the bats, the creatures kept returning to the leaves of one kind of pitcher plant.
Each pitcher plant produces about ten modified leaves, which collect rainwater and act as insect traps.
Among the celebrities visiting the show were Jerry Hall, Rolf Harris, TV chef Ainsley Harriott and comedian Bill Bailey, who has had a tropical pitcher plant hybrid named after him.
It is the naturally occurring offspring of the purple pitcher plant and the yellow trumpet, known botanically as Sarracenia x catesbaei.
The giant pitcher plant (pictured) has been named after David Attenborough and can catch not just insects but rats in its enormous trap.
A pitcher plant with the shape of a banana and eats rats was discovered by a group of botanists on a remote mountain in the Philippines.
Page 6: Blackberry, Poison Ivy, Pitcher Plant This trio conspires to jam the page with foretouched pain: whole fields can prickle in the sun.
The pitcher plant lures its victims into a slippery jug filled with a liquid that drowns them and helps the plant to digest them.