Dionaea muscipula the Venus catches

We have never talked about or touched on the subject of carnivorous plants, so this will be our first experience telling some little things about the cultivation of this type of exotic plants. In this case we are going to talk about Dionaea muscipula, which has a carnivorous look that is even scary. Are you interested in carnivores? Let’s talk about it.



Dionaea is a genus that curiously only includes one species, the Dionaea muscipul, a somewhat strange name that becomes more common and representative when we call it Venus flytrap. And it is that this exotic plant has the characteristic of catching its live prey, which are usually small insects or spiders that, attracted by curiosity, enter the trap.


Venus flytrap is one of the few plants that has the ability to make rapid movements to trap its victims, and it is so curious that to this day there is still research on the mechanisms that initiate the movement.

The process is simple.

The lobes of the plant remain open when they are in “hunting mode”, and these lobes have sensitive hairs (trichomes) that activate and close at the slightest movement, so that if any insect lands on them, the lobes become They close in a record time of 0.1 seconds. As if that were not surprising, the plant is able to distinguish between living animals or elements such as raindrops, dust, leaves or anything that is alive when managing the urge to close the lobes.

In order for the lobes of Dionaea muscipula to close very quickly , the insect has to touch two trichomes in less than 20 seconds or just one on numerous occasions. The plant has evolved so much that the ends have hairs that prevent the exit of hunted insects, although it allows the exit of those that are very small.

It is believed that it is a mechanism of the plant itself to avoid foods so small that they would not be profitable to digest. Impressive.


The longer the prey spends moving and trying to escape, the more stimulation the internal parts of the lobes will receive, and the more response to closure they will receive, so that the edges will close more solidly against each other.

When a set time passes, the edges are automatically sealed and it becomes a kind of stomach where digestion occurs. This usually takes about 2 weeks, at which time the lobes reopen waiting for a new prey.


This mechanism is so intricate that it is not known for sure how it originates. A fairly accepted theory is that of acid development. This theory argues that cells located on the outside of the lobes are able to move hydrogen ions very quickly through the cell walls and the vein of the lobe itself. These changes produce alterations in the pH in such a way that they allow to control the osmosis mechanism , an effect that allows the plant to manage the opening and closing of the lobes in an incredibly fast way, 0.1 seconds, as we have commented before. At this speed it is almost impossible to give an insect time to make the exit movement, so they are trapped and digested.

Dionaea muscipola is by far (thanks to its hunting mechanism), one of the most cultivated carnivorous plants, especially as a houseplant, since it usually grows in tropical environments with a high concentration of peat, such as swamps or areas with water.

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