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How Pitcher Plants Make “Bug Soup” April 30, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Nature.

Pitcher plants are carnivorous.  Like this jungle cat, they are meat eaters.

Using nectar or bright colors as “bait,” pitcher plants lure unsuspecting prey into hollow pitchers and almost certain death.

When insects fall into the pool of digestive juices, they become “Bug Soup.”

One species has pitchers large enough to catch . . . rats!   And birds. 

But not this bird . . . it’s too big!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Aah . . . That’s Better! * Orchids, Bromeliads, and Epiphytes * From Bonsai to Banyan * Fun with Words ~ Venus Fly Trap


1. Life in the Boomer Lane - April 30, 2012

It boggles the mind (well, mine at least) how plants do this.

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Exactly! This AND photosynthesis . . . without reading any printed instructions.

Plants IS smart!

2. sufilight - April 30, 2012

A plant that digests rats and birds? Yikes! Last year we purchased a Venus Flytrap but the bugs that we get in the summer didn’t seem to be concerned, they were still flying around and left when they wanted to. 🙂

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Venus FlyTraps are cool . . . but they don’t have voracious appetites. Just a dainty “nibble” now and again. 😀

3. winsomebella - April 30, 2012

Very cool. I hope they catch a whole lotta rats 🙂

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

It’s hard to imagine a plant eating a rat . . . or a bird. Seems a bit topsy-turvy to me.

4. Three Well Beings - April 30, 2012

They almost look artificial with the pale green and pink, and unusual shapes. Very Little Shop of Horrors aren’t they? Odd and very fascinating! Debra

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Yes! Little Shop of Horrors. 😯

5. Andra Watkins - April 30, 2012

Those plants always captivate my interest……I am glad that is all they can ensnare.

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

I’m not putting my finger in there! 😉

6. CMSmith - April 30, 2012

That’s kind of creepy. But we all have to live. Who thought up all these kinds of plants and animals? Loaded question?

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Rather. I’m impressed when I can paint a ZEBRA . . . imagine what it took to imagine the first ZEBRA, Giraffe, Platypus, etc. Definitely required a sense of humor, eh?

7. Perfecting Motherhood - April 30, 2012

Rats? Yikes! How about a squirrel? I could use one of these in my garden… 😉

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Aww . . . you’re not NUTS about squirrels? 😆

Perfecting Motherhood - May 1, 2012

Only if they will choke on those nuts and leave my garden alone! 🙂

nrhatch - May 1, 2012

Give ’em bus fare to FL. We love watching SQUIRRELS and their antics! 😀

8. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - April 30, 2012

Those scare me, but I could use about 15 in my yard. The dogs would be OK right?

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Warn them NOT to drink out of these pitchers!

9. sweetdaysundertheoaks - May 1, 2012

Oooo Nancy I read about the Pitcher plant on Sony’s blog, My Wandering Feet. It kind of creeped me out then but was interesting. Now I see your next to the last picture and think they are quite pretty!

nrhatch - May 1, 2012

I love the idea of plants eating bugs . . . plants eating rats is a bit harder to digest. 😆

10. jannatwrites - May 1, 2012

I think I might have nightmares about this. Kinda creepy 🙂

nrhatch - May 1, 2012

Something that the Addams Family would proudly display in the living room for Lurch to dust around . . . You rang?

11. William D'Andrea - May 1, 2012

I have posted an “Angel/Buffy” fanfiction short story concerning a demonic demension, in which giant, man (and woman) eating venus flytraps are found. It’s titled “I Wish I Had Her Job”.

If anyone reading this wants to check it out, the story can be found at


nrhatch - May 2, 2012

Thanks for sharing the link ~ hope some folks enjoy your story.

12. bluebee - May 2, 2012

Wonderfully weird! The photos are great 😀 They remind me of the plants in Iris’s greenhouse in the movie ‘Minority Report’

nrhatch - May 2, 2012

Oh, my . . . did she grow carnivores in her greenhouse? 😯

bluebee - May 5, 2012

It’s worth seeing the movie for that scene, alone, Nancy 😀

nrhatch - May 5, 2012

I have seen the movie, a few years back. I don’t remember the greenhouse scene at all.

13. Booksphotographsandartwork - May 2, 2012

Oh yuck. I don’t think I seen pictures of those before. Amazing. But gross. Poor victims.

nrhatch - May 2, 2012

Yes . . . almost like getting caught up in a Spider’s Web to be consumed for dinner.

14. cuhome - May 4, 2012

Yikes! Giant carniverous plant? I think I’ll pass….. great photos!!

nrhatch - May 4, 2012

Not something I want in my backyard either, janet. But I enjoyed seeing them in the conservatory.

Wait . . . that’s sounds like Clue. Colonel Mustard killed Scarlett with the pitcher (plant) in the conservatory! 😀

15. wightrabbit - May 5, 2012

Nature is wild – whatever will it come up with next?! Thanks for sharing this, Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - May 5, 2012

It is a pretty awesome adaptation for plants that grow on trees without access to soil nutrients.

16. Team Oyeniyi - May 5, 2012

Amazing plants, Nancy.

Don’t think I’ll put them in my soup though – who knows what they’ve been eating!

nrhatch - May 5, 2012

Same here! I’m sure that “Bug Soup” would NOT appeal.

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