By Paul Temple
This revised "Wisley instruction manual" covers carnivorous - or insect-eating - vegetation
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Extra resources for Carnivorous plants
T h e leaves form fleshy rosettes 1 to 9 in. 5 cm) in diameter, of a delightful shade of light green, and the surfaces are covered in the greatest c o n c e n t r a t i o n of dewproducing tentacles found in any c a r n i v o r o u s plant, giving an effect unique in the plant world. A d d e d to this, the flowers are not only large and showy but, in s o m e t e n d e r species, are b o r n e twice a year. They make excellent plants for the g a r d e n or the h o m e . All Pinguicula use their leaves as lures a n d traps, but m o v e m e n t is limited to the leaves curling at the edges, w h i c h prevents digestive juices r u n n i n g off.
13). SPECIALIST S O C I E T I E S C a r n i v o r o u s p l a n t s m a y also be o b t a i n e d by joining a specialist society. T h e r e are several c a r n i v o r o u s plant societies throughout the w o r l d a n d o n e in Britain, w h i c h provides a seed a n d plant e x c h a n g e s c h e m e for m e m b e r s . In addition, the society gives advice, p u b l i s h e s a n e w s l e t t e r a n d journal, exhibits at flower s h o w s , h o l d s l e c t u r e s a n d m e e t i n g s a n d arranges field trips.
As a p r e c a u t i o n against accidental triggering of the trap by falling debris or rain, either t w o separate hairs must be touched or o n e must be t o u c h e d twice; in addition, if these two movem e n t s do not o c c u r within a specific time period of about 2 to 20 seconds, t h e n the trap will r e m a i n open. O n c e the trap is s p r u n g , the leaf goes through several a m a z i n g changes. In the first stage, the p a d s bend in t o w a r d s each other rapidly, so that the fringes of soft spines interlock.