Carnivorous Plants of Mississippi
5/6/2019 3:54:03 PM

Mississippi is home to 25 species of carnivorous plants; most are found in bogs and seepage slopes. In general, the carnivorous plants belong to four types:


These have highly modified leaves that are fused into tubes. A hood covers the open tube and prevents rain from overfilling the tube. The opening of the tube is brightly colored to attract unsuspecting small animals and a sweet nectar-like fluid is secreted to lure the animals into the tube.


These plants have sticky glands on their leaves that entrap small animals. There are two types of glands on the leaf surface: one that secretes a sweet substance as a lure to ensnare and digest the prey and another that absorbs the nutrient “soup.”


Bladderworts are so named for the balloon-like traps on their stems, which are either underwater or underground depending on the species. It is Mississippi’s only carnivorous plant with an active trap (rather than a passive trap). There is a trigger hair at the opening of the bladder, which when tripped, sucks small animals into the bladder, from which there is no escape.


All species of butterworts are small in size, and are most obvious when in flower. In these plants, the traps are glands on the surface of thee laves, which lie against the ground in a circle. Two types of glands are scattered across the leaf surface: one secretes an entrapping fluid that makes the leaf appear wet, which may attract some prey in search for water; the other gland releases digestive enzymes once an insect has become trapped.

Share this share this share this

Sign up, Keep Up

Sign up to receive monthly newsletters featuring all the latest news and happenings from MDWFP.