A Student Discovered The First Meat-Eating Plant In North America – And It Feasts On Salamanders

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: M. Alex Smith

The discovery prompts scientists, including Smith, Baldwin and others from Guelph and Toronto universities, into research that will lead to a paper two years later. And when word gets out, the world turns out to be just as interested. Stories about Baldwin’s find spread across the print media, not just in Canada, but all around the world.

Image: Gary Kauffman

The purple pitcher plant can be discovered in all sorts of places in the east of North America. Its range stretches from Florida’s Gulf Coast right up to Canada’s Nova Scotia. And you’ll find them across to the west as far as the Rockies. It’s the most commonly found plant of its type, and the sole Sarracenia that will grow in chillier climates.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: San Diego Zoo

Meat-eating plants aren’t actually that rare globally, with close to 600 different varieties on the planet. While some also have pitchers, others deploy traps. Still more, such as the sundews, covering close to 200 species, work like living flypaper, capturing insects with their stickiness. Meanwhile, the bladderwort, as its name suggests, sucks unwary invertebrates into a bladder that they can never escape from.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT