Dionaea muscipula

Venus Fly-trap was the first commonly grown insectivorous house plant. It is also the only terrestrial plant that captures insects by snapping shut the leaves. The leaves form a rosette about 7-15 cm in diameter. The leaf stalks are broadened, wing-like and the basal, underground part forms a kind of tuber in which reserves of food are stored. The leaf blade forms the trap proper; it is less than 3 cm (1 inch) long, rounded in outline with long, stiff hairs on the margin. The two halves of the blade can snap shut with lightning speed, imprisoning the insect inside. The inner side of the leaf blade is often reddish and covered near the margin with nectary glands that attract insects, and minute glands that secrete a digestive juice. Venus Fly-trap is capable of capturing insects up to 3 cm (1 inch) long. After snapping shut, the leaf remains closed for several days. The flowers, up to 2 cm across, have five white petals that do not fall; they wilt and remain on the flower stalks.

In winter, the plant requires cool conditions, about 5°C (41 °F). Apply water sparingly in winter, but do not let the compost dry out. Use soft water. The relative humidity should be almost 70 per cent.

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