Darwin referred to it as the “most wonderful plant” in the world, and if that’s not enough to make you question why, then what is?
The botanical name for the Venus flytrap is Dionaea muscipula. The first section refers to Aphrodite, the daughter of Dione, and then muscipula is Latin for ‘mousetrap’ and ‘flytrap’.
When it grows in boggy areas, it can’t get nutrients from the soil, so instead it has developed, evolved and adapted its leaves to be traps.
The motion of the leaves closing together is well-known, but here’s how it works. Inside the leaves there are very fine hairs. If a fly lands and touches a hair, a trigger is set. Then, if another hair is touched within 20 seconds the trap, then closes. Using the digestive fluids, the fly is dissolved, and the energy is taken back into the plant.
But don’t be tempted to trick the plant into closing its trap around your finger or a pencil. This is because it will waste the energy and the oil from your skin can also damage the leaves.