Nepenthes hamata is one of the very best species of tropical pitcher plant. The black hooks that line the pitcher’s mouth make escape impossible for insects and carnivorous plant collectors. This one is from the personal collection of Damon Collingsworth.
popularly known as tropical pitcher plants or monkey cups - they are a genus of carnivorous plants in the monotypic family Nepenthaceae. The genus comprises roughly 140 species, numerous natural and many cultivated hybrids.
This pitcher plant (Nepenthes rafflesiana elongata) has evolved a unique relationship with the small wooly bat. Instead of consuming insects like the chamber of most of its close relatives, this plant’s chamber provides the bat with a perfect place to roost during the day. The guano left behind by the bat provides the plant with all the nourishment it needs.
Sarracenia leucophylla (Ericales - Sarraceniaceae) is found in wet savannahs in the southeast USA, from northeastern Florida to eastern Mississippi.
S. leucophylla pitchers are green with the top quarter being white with red or green veins. Pitchers produced in the spring are narrower and not as white as pitchers produced in the fall. Under extremely warm conditions, this species may produce phyllodia (pitcherless leaves) in the middle of the summer. The flowers are deep red.
Sarracenia rubra is also referred to as the ‘sweet trumpet’, because of its small red flowers which are fragrant to variable degrees. These clump-producing plants commonly branch into multiple growing points and can therefore form masses of pitcher leaves. The combination of abundant pitchers and multiple flowers in spring, enhanced by their perfume, can make a showy spectacle.
Calgary scientists have made a breakthrough that could help celiac patients digest gluten with the help of an enzyme from bug-eating pitcher plants.
Pitcher plants are like “disposable stomachs” that are filled with an enzyme-rich liquid that helps them digest insect prey, explained lead researcher David Schriemer.
The professor at the University of Calgary says preliminary research shows the enzymes in these so-called monkey cups are “enormously potent” in breaking down gluten, and could work in a human stomach.