Things You Might Need to Know About Pitcher Plant
What is Pitcher Plant ?
The pitcher plant (Nepenthes sp.), also known as Monkey’s Cup is a group of carnivorous plants that owes their name to their ability to grow cup like structures that traps and digest prey.
Nepenthes sp prefer to live in nitrogen poor soil out of direct sunlight. Most species are vine like climbers and can reach up to several meters high although most never climb higher than 2 meters. Besides being able to grow in nitrogen poor soil, I have also noticed that some species can grow in places dominated by ferns and can be commonly seen among the ferns in the forest edge.
With their habit to grow in poor soils, Nepenthes sp. have to somehow make up for the lack of nitrogen which is vital to their growth – The answer to that problem is the unique structure know is the pitcher. The pitcher is one of the most highly specialized structures in the plant world. Being actually a modified leave, the pitchers act as a sophisticated trap for unsuspecting insects to fall to their doom. The pitcher itself is filled with liquid laden with digestive enzymes; the edge of the pitcher is extremely slippery to ensure anything that wonders there falls into the liquid, drowned and get digested by the plant. To increase efficiency, some species even have inviting nectar gland to attract prey insect to feed and hopefully, fall into their demise.
Sitting on top of the structure is a nice little cap that prevents rainwater from diluting the digestive liquid. The cap is sealed at the opening of the structure when the pitcher is not mature.
Last but not least, let’s watch a video about a jumping spider trying to escape from a pitcher plant
Are you curious about what is jumping spider? Find out more on the 5 things you need to know about jumping spider.