Venus Fly Trap & Its Vague Origins

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Anonymous

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#1
The Venus Fly Trap is particular to the area known as South Carolina in the States. In fact it grows nowhere else except the marshes of South Carolina.

Botanists have tried to connect it to other plants but have failed to establish a family for the orphan carnivore. There is no family for it, so it has become a family of its own. And it is......on its own.......a family of one! It has no relatives and......never has!

We still cant trace its evolved path. We cant trace its ancestors and cant establish an antiquated connection with modern plants and their ancestors. We dont know where its origins lie and it seems to exist nowhere except South Carolina. It exists nowhere but the fairly plain, sterile and nutrition-less marshes and bogs of South Carolina. It exists there like it has never existed anywhere else. It did not come from some other place in the world. If it did, it left no trail in the genes of its peers and ancestors.

Which raises a question........

Has a meteor even impacted near South Carolina?
 
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Anonymous

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#2
That's fascinating: I had no idea the Venus Fly Trap was such a mysterious plant.
Here's a couple more facts I just discovered on botany.org.

i) They can survive underwater 'for months'.

ii) 'A couple of houseflies or small slugs per month is enough during the growing season. It will eat hamburger but indigestion and rot may occur.'!
 
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Anonymous

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#3
It also lives with next to no nutritional input. What it does get is derived from the flesh it devours and that is pretty seldom. The bogs and marshes in which it resides are bereft of life giving minerals.

I used to have one but......it died.

What with it not being South Carolina!
 

beakboo1

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#4
I always wondered about the origins of this plant, and as no one has answered the question, I'm bumping it.
 
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Anonymous

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#5
In "Strange"Magazine #12(Fall '93),there was an article about this very issue.It only grows within a hundred mile radius of Wilmington,North Carolina.

The article mentions all the strange facts about the flytrap,and mentions that a geologist back in the '50's theorized that the bays and lakes in the area were formed by a meteor shower 20,000 years ago.
 
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Anonymous

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#6
Is it just me or does the idea of plants growing on earth that came from outerspace creep anyone else out?
 

darrenxyz

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#7
Does anyone else remember reading that thing about how rotifers were supposedly thought by some to have originated from space? I always thought that was a bit... odd.
 

minordrag

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#8
Look, I live in North Carolina. I can tell you that LOTS of weird shit lives in South Carolina!

St Clair, it's a state--not an "area." Most amusing!

I had no idea that the Venus Fly Trap only lived in South Carolina. What a drag for that plant. Eating bugs in redneck heaven. I also didn't know that it was unique in the plant world. Sad, really.
 
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Anonymous

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#9
Minor Drag said:
St Clair, it's a state--not an "area." Most amusing!
Erm......its both actually.

How can somewhere not be an "area"?:blah:

ho hum......:)

Parp!
 

marion

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#10
We have our own carnivorous plants round here - sundews , they grow out on the peat moors but are tiny and not always easy to find . The peat is mostly sterile and they need to eat flies for nutrition . I think they are pretty universal through Europe in boggy areas . I dont think they are related to flytraps at all though they do close their sticky fly catching bits round the fly when they catch it , if rather more slowly than the flytrap does .
Carnivorous plants need to be watered with rainwater or they will die .
 

rynner2

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#11
According to this webpage, the reason the natural habitat of the VFT is so limited is that it has no mechanism for distributing its seeds - they are not eaten or transported by wind, animals or insects - which is pretty weird in itself!

The author points out that the plant itself can grow perfectly well in many different places around the world, provided the soil conditions are right.
 
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Anonymous

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#12
Marion said:
We have our own carnivorous plants round here - sundews , they grow out on the peat moors but are tiny and not always easy to find .
There are a few others in the UK as well, Butterwort (Pinguicula) is one (sticky leaves) but my favourite is Bladderwort(Utricularia), which is an underwater plant with tiny bladders that trap water fleas.

There's an American species of Pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) which has been introduced to the UK and grows wild as well.
 
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Anonymous

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#13
Recent research has revealed one fairly close relative of the venus flytrap The waterwheel plant Aldrovanda vesiculosa: http://bestcarnivorousplants.com/aldrovanda/ (pics.)

"Evolutionary studies have shown that carnivory arose independently within several lineages of flowering plants. However, it has been unclear whether snap-traps evolved twice or only once, because the aquatic waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa) has been poorly studied. Using DNA sequences from four genes, Cameron et al. show that Aldrovanda is sister to Venus’ flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), and that this pair is sister to the sundews (Drosera). These results indicate that snap-traps are derived from adhesive flypaper-traps and share a common ancestry, despite the fact that this fast action mechanism is used by both a terrestrial and an aquatic species."

Kenneth M. Cameron, Kenneth J. Wurdack, and Richard W. Jobson. Molecular evidence for the common origin of snap-traps among carnivorous plants. American Journal of Botany (in press)

There is a press release on the research here: http://www.nybg.org/pr/carnivorous.html

This relationship was first proposed by Charles Darwin who described the waterwheel as “a miniature, aquatic Dionaea [Venus’ flytrap].”

About rotifers originating from space, they certainly are odd and unique. I think the Bdelloid rotifers are the only animal group that has survived for a long time (40 million years) without sexual reproduction.
 
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Anonymous

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#14
Beany said:
There's an American species of Pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) which has been introduced to the UK and grows wild as well.
I have one growing outside in a tub. Very nice it is too. For an "exotic" it happily stays outside during the deepest of (UK) winters and comes back ready for more. :)

The things that you have to watch out for are slugs and aphids (nothing sadder than an insectiverous plant being eaten by insects. :( )
 
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Anonymous

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#16
Fortis said:
The things that you have to watch out for are slugs and aphids (nothing sadder than an insectiverous plant being eaten by insects. :( )
Sad? well, yes, but it's also beautiful irony.
 

Bullseye

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#17
Inverurie Jones said:
That'll be the 'deepest' of English winters, then? Do they like snow?
No they dont, I used to have a really nice collection of VFT, Sarracinias and Sundews, left them outside too late one year, lots of snow ,lost the bloody lot, had taken me years to grow that lot:cross eye
 
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Anonymous

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#18
Michael, you want a Sarracenia S. Purpurea SSp. Purpurea. These blighters are hardy down to -25°C. (Good enough for most of the U.K. See http://www.flytrap.demon.co.uk/notes/sarracen.htm#purpureapurpurea
)

Most years I get a nice (if slightly odd) set of flowers from it as well. :)

I do empathise with you over the loss of your collection though. A few years back I had hundreds of little Cape Sundew seedlings. (As ever Drosera Capensis came through in the seed stakes ;) ) Had them developing nicely, and was planning on giving them away to friends. Then had to go away for a short while. Came back to find them more-or-less wiped out by aphids. Little buggers. :(
 

Imperial_Call

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#19
I remember reading somewhere that the VFT only grows in one place, and it was the site of an asteroid impact - whenever - <shrugs>

I read a story in a paper once that a fella had a VFT that he injected steroids into, it got quite big, and one day he left his budgie out and it flew straight into the VFT and was devoured :eek!!!!:
 

mejane

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#20
LobeliaOverhill said:
I read a story in a paper once that a fella had a VFT that he injected steroids into, it got quite big, and one day he left his budgie out and it flew straight into the VFT and was devoured :eek!!!!:
I so want that story to be true (sorry Beekboo)! It's a wonderful idea for a murder mystery - the victim fed bit by bit into a collection of mutant VFTs! :blah:

I've heard the theory that they only grow around an ancient meteorite crater too - no idea if its true, but it seems likely that the plants common name may have given rise to the legend.

Jane.
 

Philo_T

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#21
**CLICK**

The comment about the metor crater just fit together!

In the movie "Little Shop of Horrors", the Audry II plant, which looks like some sort of mutant alien flytrap that eats people, came to earth in a metorite.

I'm not sure if that's the story in the original version of the story. But maybe the writer(s) had also had these two little factoids floating aournd in their heads.
 

HappyGlades

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#22
LobeliaOverhill said:
I remember reading somewhere that the VFT only grows in one place, and it was the site of an asteroid impact - whenever - <shrugs>

I read a story in a paper once that a fella had a VFT that he injected steroids into, it got quite big, and one day he left his budgie out and it flew straight into the VFT and was devoured :eek!!!!:
Sounds like UL territory to me. I did a quick search on Snopes and couldn't find anything though.
 
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Anonymous

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#23
aerialsnake said:
Sounds like UL territory to me. I did a quick search on Snopes and couldn't find anything though.
You searched an urban legend site?

That was clever.

try these "actual" history pages instead.

http://www.ohwy.com/sc/w/woobaysp.htm

Or:

http://www.carolinanow.com/recsites/carolinabays.htm

Or:

http://www.georgehoward.net/cbays.htm

Or:

Woods Bay State Park - Olanta
Do you love mysteries of nature? Here is one that has stumped the experts. Woods Bay State Park was created to protect a natural phenomenon known as a Carolina Bay. A Carolina Bay is an elliptical depression in the ground like, perhaps, an ancient meteor crater. The Carolina Bays here are part of a swampy habitat which even includes a family of alligators.


You must take into account the known facts before demoting another sister subject in the chart of Fort. Lobelia and myself (if you read my first post) are picking up on a bigger fortean event.

Look:
 
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Anonymous

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#25
St.Clair said:
You searched an urban legend site?

You must take into account the known facts before demoting another sister subject in the chart of Fort. Lobelia and myself (if you read my first post) are picking up on a bigger fortean event.
I think aerialsnake was referring to the story about a VFT injected with steroids swallowing a budgie. I'd have to agree that this does sound like an urban legend.
 
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Anonymous

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#26
Fair enough.......but a discussion based on who said what or what said who or what for and why.....really is not gonna get us anywhere.
 
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Anonymous

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#27
St.Clair said:
Fair enough.......but a discussion based on who said what or what said who or what for and why.....really is not gonna get us anywhere.
Best not to be sarcastic about other peoples posts then.
 
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