flytrap

Venus's-flytrap

or Venus flytrap

Venus's-flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Flowering perennial plant (Dionaea muscipula), sole member of its genus, in the sundew family, notable for its unusual habit of catching and eating insects and other small animals (see carnivorous plant). Native to a small region of North and South Carolina, it is common in damp, mossy areas. Growing from a bulblike rootstock, the plant bears hinged leaves with spiny teeth along their margins and a round cluster of small white flowers at the tip of an erect stem 8–12 in. (20–30 cm) tall. When an insect alights on a leaf and stimulates its sensitive hairs, the leaf snaps shut in about half a second. Leaf glands secrete a red sap that digests the insect's body and gives the entire leaf a red, flowerlike appearance. After 10 days of digestion, the leaf reopens. The trap dies after capturing three or four insects.

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