And Petunias. And quite a few other plants too. And according to some scientists, maybe all plants. They all are carnivorous!
Petunias and potatoes may actually be carnivorous plants, scientists now suggest.We're surrounded and Homeland Security is ignoring the threat.
Indeed, carnivorous behavior may be far more widespread in plants than commonly thought — if we take a closer look, botanists said.
At least six different kinds of killer plants have been recognized since the time of Darwin, such as Venus flytraps, which snares insects between its jaw-like leaves, and pitcher plants, which capture victims in slippery pits. These plants apparently target animals to supplement their growth in harsh, nutrient-poor habitats.
catchfly for the same reason.
"We may be surrounded by many more murderous plants than we think," said botanist Mark Chase, Keeper of the Jodrell Laboratory at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in England.
Chase and his colleagues reviewed all the research so far on carnivorous plants. A number of plants might actually be carnivorous, they noted, but merely go about their murderous business in a subtler manner than their more conspicuous cousins.
For instance, the cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix) is not typically considered a carnivorous plant (pictured left), but this pink flower possesses sticky, adhesive glands and dwells in poor soils. Also, while carnivorous seeds might be a strange concept, those of the shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) possesses a sticky layer with chemicals that can attract, kill and digest victims (pictured right).
"Although a man-eating tree is fictional, many commonly grown plants may turn out to be cryptic carnivores, at least by absorbing through their roots the breakdown products of the animals that they ensnare," Chase said.
"In almost every habitat, the nitrogen and phosphorus that animal bodies can provide are limiting factors for growth, and even a minimal amount of carnivory can reap some benefit," Chase told LiveScience.
"What plants are doing is much more sophisticated than we ever imagined," Chase said. "Although animals are eating plants, plants are also eating animals. It's not just a one-way street."
The scientists detailed their analysis December 4 in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.
Yes that potato plant you are nurturing and caring for so lovingly is actually thinking:
Oh my! Our plants are murderous killers wanting and needing blood for their growth. Pretty soon, if we don't check this action in our plants, they will be demanding a blood sacrifice from us. A virgin or two a week (now where could we find said virgins). Or we might discover this is true:
You have been warned!