My daughter and I had great time visiting the McMillan Greenhouse inside Charlotte Botanical Gardens (located on the east side of the university’s campus). We spent couple hours browsing, touching, smelling, gasping and laughing at the weirdest, funniest and most bizarre plants from around the world. The greenhouse has several rooms: Carnivorous, Orchids, Cactus, Dinosaurs (yeah that’s right!), and Tropical. Admission is free and the greenhouse is open daily 10AM-3PM (1-4PM on Sunday).
This post features the “ferocious” carnivorous plants: Venus flytrap, Pink pitcher, Lovebug Sarracenia Hybrid and the Monkey Cups.
My daughter pleaded for a Venus flytrap ($8 for sale).
• Venus flytrap lives only on the coast of North and South Carolina
• Venus Flytrap feeds on insects, yet big plants can catch and digest small frogs. It uses its bright red pigmentation to attract prey.
• The trap shuts in 0.3 seconds (one of the fastest plant movements in the world!) To avoid energy waste the trap snaps only after the trigger hairs have been stimulated twice within few seconds.
• It takes several days for the plant to completely digest an insect, and reopen its trap. Smaller insects sometimes escape despite a highly evolved grid of teeth that interlock when the trap closes.
• A trap is only good for 4 to 6 catches. After that, the trap withers, turns brown, and falls off. Read more and see a frog capturing video here.
When we got home we transferred the plant into a bigger pot (thanks to the wonderful staff we got free peat moss soil, which is best for Venus flytrap) with a large saucer and set it on the outdoor table in full sun. Within days she got to work, and caught three insects! All we had to do is give it water every day.
The pitcher plants lure insects inside their specially designed leaves with pretty colors and sweet scents. The inner walls are slippery trapping most of the intruders for good. As victims accumulate in the depths of the pitcher, digestive juices are secreted that liquify the prey for absorption.
Monkey Cups is a tropical pitcher plant that lives in South China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Madagascar, Seychelles and Australia. As the name suggests monkeys use them as drink fountains.
Interested to start your own bog garden? The McMillan Greenhouse has all you need: plants, knowledge and friendly staff on hand.
Don’t forget McMillan’s biggest plant sale of the year will take place April 20 and 21st, 2012 8AM-3PM at the greenhouse.
Filed under: Charlotte, Free Things to Do, Outdoor Activities, Parks and Gardens | Tagged: Carnivorous plants South North Carolina, Carnivorous Venus plant in action, Charlotte Botanical Gardens greenhouse, Charlotte family fun things to do, Charlotte free kids activities, Charlotte free things to do, Large Monkey cups plant, Lovebug hybrid plant picture, McMillan greenhouse pictures, Pink Pitcher plant photo, Venus flytrap with prey picture, what's fun exciting to see in Charlotte | Leave a Comment »