Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants which trap food using a pitfall trap built into them through evolutionary design. They can be found in both of the Americas as well as Africa, Asia, and Australia, and usually grow in bogs, marshlands, and areas of waterlogged, acidic soil. Pitcher plants have developed a carnivorous habit to compensate for poor soil nutrition, but they are also capable of absorbing nutrients through their simple root systems. In addition to growing in the wild, pitcher plants are cultivated in many botanical gardens as a form of natural insect control, and can serve the same purpose in the home, as well as being decorative. In botanical gardens, pitcher plants are usually grown in warm, humid indoor environments.
The term pitcher plant is an umbrella name for plants in two families, Sarraceiniaceae and Nepenthaceae. In both, the leaves curl in on themselves to form tall, distinctive pitchers. The pitchers are often streaked with red to attract insects and lined with fine hairs and grooves so once insects fall in, they cannot escape. Water collects in the bottom of the pitcher, drowning unwitting insect visitors, and the plant secretes digestive enzymes to extract nutrients from the insects. In some cases, pitcher plants also live in a symbiotic relationship with insects in larval form, allowing the larvae to eat trapped insects and later consuming some of them.
Tropical Pitcher Plants, Nepenthes sp.
Crédito: The Technology of Success
People and children are chased by the 'Toro de Fuego' (flaming bull) as it runs throught the streets during the opening day of the San Fermin Running of the Bulls fiesta on July 6, 2015 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway entitled 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the daily running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona to the bull ring.
Crédito: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez
A child looks out from a window display during the opening day of the San Fermin Running of the Bulls fiesta on July 6, 2015 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway entitled 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the daily running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona to the bull ring.
Crédito: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks after meeting with members of his national security team concerning ISIS at the Pentagon July 6, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. From left, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work, Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Commander of U.S. Africa Command Gen. David Rodriguez, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. Obama announced the U.S. military is making progress against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
People inside the capitol building watch as Confederate flag supporters gather at the state house July 6, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. The state legislature began debate on the placement of the flag today after the issue was reignited by the murders in Charleston, South Carolina at Emanuel AME Church in June.
Crédito: Sean Rayford
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrive to give a press conference after their meeting at the Elysee Palace on July 06, 2015 in Paris, France. Angela Merkel met Francois Hollande to discuss the situation concerning the Greece in the European Union.
Crédito: Thierry Chesnot
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