Monday, February 15, 2010

You are a furred leaf, I think

Originally uploaded by Trillium grandiflorum
A good example of deadly soft fur is the beautiful Pinguicula, or butterwort. The leaves look like African violet leaves, with the tiniest sheen of fuzz; but if you are an insect and land on them, you cannot get off again. The tiny furry stems are covered with sticky material that holds you in place while the plant's digestive enzymes slowly dissolve you. How awful! This plant mostly eats gnats, but mine has trapped larger flying insects from time to time.

In "Little Shop of Horrors," the man-eating plant Audrey II is said to be a cross between a butterwort and a Venus flytrap, as Peter D'Amato points out in his wonderful book "The Savage Garden."

No comments: