SALLY MCCRAE KUYPER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SALLY MCCRAE KUYPER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Common pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea). These vase-shaped carnivorous plants use scent, nectar and colour to attract insects. The interior of the 'vases' (or trumpets) are slippery and contain downward-pointing spikes, so that once an insect has entered it is unable to leave, and falls to the bottom. Liquid at the base contains digestive enzymes. When insects fall into the trap they are digested by the enzymes, providing the plant with nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen. Pitcher plants are typically found in nutrient- poor habitats, such as swamps. Photographed at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, USA.
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