Carnivorous Plant Sundews Can Be Found At Portage Park
I know what you're thinking, "Isn't the idea of a Carnivorous plant kind of like Little Shop of Horrors?" No, despite what that movie shows, not all plants grow to become human-eating monsters, especially the one that apparently resides in our own neck of the woods. A friend of ours William Dolak was recently visiting Bishop's Bog Preserve Trail near the South Westnedge Park in Portage when he snagged a really cool picture of Sundews that are growing. As he pointed out, Sundews are actually a Carnivorous plant:
Sundews in Schrier Park, Portage, Michigan.Sundews are a carnivorous plant native to Michigan (and not the only one, so, watch out). Look closely at the second photo for a hapless victim. They live in wetlands with poor soil; the insects they digest make up for the nutritional deficiencies in the soil.
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I of course had to look these up because I have seen them before, but this was in a greenhouse in Grand Rapids. It turns out Sundews, sometimes called Drosera, have 194 species. These were so interesting that at one point, Charles Darwin himself was completely obsessed with them, writing:
…at the present moment, I care more about Drosera than the origin of all the species in the world.
Like many carnivorous plants, the tentacles on the stem of the plant bend and wrap up any insect that comes into contact with it, having the ability to leave them stuck when they land. See if you can spot some of these the next time you're on a walk.
Other Carnivorous Plants In Portage
There are actually 3 different types of Carnivorous plants in Michigan. Here's another one...
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