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Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap)

The Venus flytrap 'eats' insects and sometimes even small frogs that become trapped in its modified, toothed leaves. If the prey struggles, the trap will close even tighter.
Open traps of the Venus flytrap, seen from above

Dionaea muscipula (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Dionaea muscipula J.Ellis

Common name: 

Venus flytrap

Conservation status: 

Vulnerable (VU) according to IUCN Red List criteria. Listed in Appendix II of CITES.

Habitat: 

Bogs and pine barrens.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental, medicine.

Known hazards: 

Carnivorous - insects and other small bugs beware!

Taxonomy

Class: 
Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Caryophyllanae
Order: 
Caryophyllales
Family: 
Droseraceae
Genus: Dionaea

About this species

The Venus flytrap is a miracle of nature. People do not think of plants moving, but the Venus flytrap can catch insects with its toothed modified leaves that snap shut when triggered by prey touching the tiny hairs on the inner leaf surface. Kew’s Director Joseph Hooker and Charles Darwin shared a keen interest in carnivorous plants. Darwin even described the Venus flytrap as 'one of the most wonderful plants in the world'.

Synonym: 

Dionaea sensitiva Salisb., Dionaea corymbosa Raf., Dionaea sessiliflora Raf., Dionaea uniflora Raf., Drosera sessiliflora Raf., Drosera uniflora Raf.

Genus: 
Dionaea

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Courses at Kew

Kew offers a variety of specialist training courses in horticulture, conservation and plant science.

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