The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
Glowing plants? It’s not uncommon for bioluminescence to appear in deep sea fish, some insects, and even fungus, but these pitcher plants are playing a whole different ballgame. Rather than producing light in the human-visible spectrum—often used in nature to ward off or attract other creatures—these pitcher plants (Nepenthes khasiana) produce ultraviolet rays tailored to luring insects home for dinner, so to speak.
As they often grow in nutrient-poor soil, carnivorous plants have evolved their peculiar (for a plant, anyway) appetites to supplement their diet—namely with bugs. And as this ultraviolet wavelength is visible to the prey the pitchers seek, it’s essentially an attractive neon sign for unwitting meals.
Of course, some scientists think this new discovery might be useful to humans, as well. Click through for more. —MN
We love carnivorous plants, but who doesn’t? They’re completely fascinating and a little bit creepy. And now the world has a newly recognized one.
The ‘Queen of Hearts’ plant, now known as Nepenthes robcantleyt, was discovered in the wilds of Borneo in the 80s, and though speculation has swirled that the giant plant—capable of “eating” small rodents as well as insects—is of an unknown species, it took until just this year for one of our colleagues at Kew to confirm it as such.
A nice profile of Dr. Larry Mellichamp, University of North Carolina, Charlotte botany professor, carnivorous plants expert, and author of the new book Bizarre Botanicals. Dr. Mellichamp works in one of the climates most hospitable to these strange plants, and yet the habitat of the most famous, the Venus Flytrap, has diminished by 90%.