Plenty of pests rampage our agriculture, but luckily for us there are natural ways to get rid of these creatures. Aside from getting help from our trusted pest control service, there are also plants that manifest the same act of pest control. As a matter of fact, there are many carnivorous plants that love to munch on their own prey.
Today we are shining the spotlight on a specific plant and that is none other than the pitcher plant. It is perhaps the most mysterious leaf in the whole wide universe. With its unique ability to obtain food, pitcher plants are definitely one of the most magnificent carnivorous plants out there. To further discuss on this topic, here are a few things you might want to know:
Pitcher plants resemble goblets of all shapes and sizes. There are two large families of monocots wherein these meat-eating pitcher plants belong to: The Old World, Nepenthaceae and the New World, Sarraceniaceae. Pitchers from the Old World family live high above trees, but unfortunately they don’t have that much food source up there so they resort to waiting for helpless victims. Meanwhile, the New World family members enjoy their abundant food source by being on the ground. Unlike its relatives who live up in the tress, these pitchers can form a whole pitcher out of its leaf.
Pitcher plants have a unique feature for them to attract their prey. It is a deep cavity filled with liquid known as a pitfall trap, which lures flying and crawling insects. This area of cavity is formed by the cupped leaf. The sides of the pitcher are slippery and it is grooved in such a way to ensure the insects can’t climb out after they get to the trap. When the pitcher digests, the prey is converted into a solution of amino acids, peptides, phosphates, ammonium and urea from which the plant obtains its nutrition.
You might shake your head and wonder, “what?. Not long ago this simple and harmless leaf wasn’t the carnivorous and meat-eating plant it is now, and it’s all thanks to natural selection! This means nature has favored the growth of leaves with larger dents until it became what we know today. The plant evolved because it has found that eating small insects could give it the necessary protein, nitrogen and other minerals it couldn’t get from simply seeping from the soil.
Pitcher plants are indeed exotic and fascinating plants, but unfortunately, they are also prone to the same problems that affect any other plant; just because they feed on insects doesn’t mean they are not open to becoming a target of infestation. If you own a garden with pitcher plants or you happen to have a farm of them, make sure they are well-taken care of. For insect infestation problems, simply call us up!