Plants are vital for all of us, not in how they balance out the ecosystem but in the sense that humans literally cannot survive without them. They provide us with many things like food and oxygen.
That’s why most of us think that they are beautiful, life-giving, and harmless entities, and you would be right, except for the ones that are animal eaters. Yes, you read it right. There are many carnivorous plants worldwide that primarily feed on animals.
The only thing matter is size. Compared to us, these carnivorous plants are very small; otherwise, they will be categorized as human-eating plants. So, from Pitcher Plant to Butterwort, allow us to show you 15+ plants that eat animals.
Let’s begin our list with the most common carnivorous plant, Sundew. There are over 194 species of Sundew, including the Cape Sundew, Australian Sundew, English Sundew, Portuguese Sundew, Thread-Leaved Sundew, and many more.
It is a one hundred percent carnivorous plant and the easiest to raise. Insects are lured to the plant and mired in the sticky dew of its tentacles. Then the leaves slowly roll over onto the prey in about 30 minutes, creating an effective digestive pouch around its victim.
If we mention the names of all Sundew and the list will comprise more than 100 names.
Location: Australia, Alaska, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa, Eurasia, and North America
2) Yellow Pitcher Plant
Now it’s only natural to mention a member of the family Sarraceniaceae (Pitcher Plant Family). Yellow Pitcher Plant, also known as Sarracenia flava, is native to the New World. These pitcher plants are yellow in color and can grow up to 3 feet tall.
The topmost part of the leaf is in the shape of a lid that prevents rainwater from entering inside it; otherwise, its digestive enzymes will dilute. The nectar of the Yellow Pitcher Plant comprises highly toxic substances along with sugar that intoxicates its prey.
Scientific Name: Sarracenia flava
Location: eastern North America, northern Florida, the southern parts of Georgia, and Alabama
3) Tropical Pitcher Plant
Tropical Pitcher Plant are another common carnivorous plant that eats animals. There are more than 100 species of Tropical pitchers. These plants are mainly found in poor soil where there is not enough nitrogen to survive.
So, they group together to grow in the areas where there can survive and get a lot of food via animals. Pitcher Plants have elongated bodies and use nectar and fragrances to lure animals like insects into their bodies.
And then they are trapped inside them. The plant has sticky and acidic liquid inside it. Some tropical pitcher plants don’t need to eat animals to get their nitrogen; rather than they leave their mouth open to catch leaves or animal droppings.
Location: Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and Australia
4) Cobra Lily
Another carnivorous plant that can eat animals is Cobra Lily. The Cobra plant is native to swamps in mountain areas of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
The top of this plant looks like a head of a cobra which is only emboldened by how the body of the plant looks like a snake body as well. Not only this, it has a coloring that looks like snake fangs and tongue.
Cobra Lilies can also be found at the high up altitude of 6000 above sea level, where there is insufficient sunlight. So, to fulfill its nutrients and heat, they capture various small insects.
Scientific Name: Darlingtonia californica
Location: northern California and southern Oregon
5) Trigger plant
Trigger Plant, also known as Stylidium, is a carnivorous plant from the family Stylidiaceae. This plant gets triggered when an insect touches a certain part of the flower, and then the flower reacts by hitting it with a whip-like part that then douses the insect with pollen.
And it will lead to happen cross-pollination. Also, it is believed that these plants digest insects as a kind of defense strategy to keep other parts safe.
Scientific Name: Stylidium graminifolium
Location: eastern Australia
6) Triphyophyllum peltatum
Triphyophyllum peltatum is the only species of its genus. Triphyophyllum is the largest carnivorous plant with very long leaves and stems.
It was also considered to be a flesh-eater for quite a long time. It looks like a normal plant but its seeds are said to be inches long. These carnivore plants are native to tropical western Africa.
Scientific Name: Triphyophyllum peltatum
Location: tropical western Africa, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Liberia
Roridula is one of the most impressive carnivorous plants because the two species of Roridula can grow tall, about 6 feet.
They are very shrubbish in form, allowing them to take on a lot more area to trap their prey. They also have beautiful pink flowers to lure their prey. Roridula is known to snare birds in South Africa.
Scientific Name: Roridula
Location: South Africa
Butterworts can be found in damp areas such as bogs, fins, wet heat, and rock crevices. The main problem with the Butterwort is that it doesn’t have the resources to get the nitrogen and energy that it needs to survive.
However, it has become able to devour insects to fulfill its requirement. Butterwort is typically found in pink color, and they use that color along with a special star spot to lure insects in.
Insects think that of pollen or nectar and stick to it. The leaves of Butterwort have a kind of sticky substance that traps the insect.
Scientific Name: Pinguicula
Location: Cape region of South Africa
9) Corkscrew Plant
Genlisea, also known as Corkscrew Plant, is from the genus of carnivorous plants and is one of its larger kinds. These plants are known for growing bundles. They form small compact rosettes composed of linear leaves about two millimeters wide.
The leaves are typically five to fifty millimeters in length, and most of the plant is hidden in the soil. The interesting fact about Corkscrew Plant is that their trap is beneath the soil.
There was a debate going on about whether this plant was a carnivore or not in the past because no one knows what happened exactly underground. But due to much research, it has been found that Genlisea attracts its prey chemotactically, trapping it in a corkscrew pot trap and then digesting it with enzymes.
Location: Africa and Central and South America
10) Monkey Cups
Nepenthes are from the same family of Tropical Pitcher Plants. They are also called Monkey Cups because it is believed that due to their shape monkeys would come and drink from them.
However, it’s not true because Nepenthes are not good for monkeys due to various reasons. These plants are very adaptable and can survive in many unusual circumstances.
Location: Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and Australia
11) Venus Flytrap
The Venus Flytrap is a very special carnivorous plant beyond its name and reputation. For example, it’s the only member in its genus, and these plants are only found in North and South Carolina.
The interesting thing about Venus Flytrap is that they don’t use their prey for food and sustenance, as they are plants and have photosynthesis abilities to create their own food.
So, they use animals to gain energy in order to survive in the soil condition that they live in. We all know plants need good soil to survive, but Venus Flytraps can withstand subpar conditions.
Scientific Name: Dionaea muscipula
Location: North and South Carolina
12) Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Aldrovanda Vesiculosa, or Waterwheel Plant, is a completely aquatic and free-floating carnivore plant that eats animals. They are shaped like a large number of plants connected to a base, all in order to ensure that it gets their food.
This plant lures its prey and then uses its mouth, having rope-like hairs to trap it. Waterwheel Plant is very durable and even able to survive in winter freezing. These plants are native to Japan.
Scientific Name: Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Location: Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia
14) Western Australian pitcher plant
Western Australian Pitcher Plant is a terrifying-looking carnivore plant. This plant is indeed special to the extent that it’s the only member of its genus. This pitcher plant can grow about 8 inches tall and has a deep root system.
The opening of the pitcher is adorned with a number of smooth dark red rings that produce attractive nectar and prevent climbing insects from escaping.
Scientific Name: Cephalotus follicularis
Location: southwestern Australia
15) Pinguicula grandiflora
Pinguicula Grandiflora is also known as Large-flowered Butterwort because its function is the same as the Butterwort plant. Pinguicula Grandiflora is not a full-on carnivorous plant.
Rather than it’s a temperate insect eater because it consumes insects for fun. Also, its flower is very bigger compared to other carnivorous plants.
Scientific Name: Pinguicula grandiflora
Bladderwort species is one type of carnivorous plant of aquatic nature. Bladderwort grows above the water but uses its body to capture animals under the water.
The hairs at the opening of the bladder trigger the trap to spring open, drawing in water and organisms like a vacuum. Then the bacteria and enzymes inside the trap aid in the digestion process. Bladderwort is very easy to find across the US in various lakes, rivers, and marshes.
Scientific Name: Utricularia
Location: southeastern United States
17) Trumpet Pitchers
Trumpet Pitchers, also known as Sarracenia, is a species of North American pitcher plants. They can be found in various places within the US. These pitcher plants are known for their long bodies that lure animals inside.
They also produce a great smell in order to attract their prey and are in pretty colors. Once its prey land on the rim, they are trapped because the rim is slippery, and thus, they fall inside the body. The Sarracenia species is in danger as its habitat is heavily threatened by humans.
Scientific Name: Sarracenia
Location: northern Florida, the southern parts of Georgia, and Alabama.
Brocchinia Reducta is a very curious carnivorous plant mainly because there are two plants within the genus, and both are believed to be a kind of carnivorous.
However, some are not sure due to the structure of the plant, which does not look like a carnivore. The leaves of this plant form a tightly bound erect column that looks like an organ pipe, and its center is hollow.
Inside the organ pipe, it is full of water and the decaying remains of insects that have fallen into the tube. Also, its water is perfumed to lure its prey.
However, it is also noticed that many insects grow within its water. That makes it confusing whether it is carnivorous or not. That’s why we have mentioned it under the Special mention section.
Scientific Name: Brocchinia Reducta
Location: southern Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, and Guyana
Now, here we conclude our article on “15 plants that eat animals or carnivorous plants.” We hope you like the list. We will be back with another plant-based article. Till then, read the articles mentioned below.
Monty is a founder of How It See. Being a life science student in a reputed university, he always wonders about an eclectic correlation between science and nature. After engaging in various college projects, Monty determined to share all his knowledge with you as a writer. In the meantime, he loves to research and study about the various types of colorful animals.