Please note that all content (photographs and text) are copyright of the author. I have licenced the contents of my blog under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License:This means that you can repost and use material for non commercial use only and as long as you give credit to me as the author and include the same conditions for anyone else to use the material likewise.Refer to the link for more information: Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Carnivorous plants: Dionaea muscipula, the Venus flytrap

Among carnivorous plants the Venus Fly Trap, Dionaea muscipula is perhaps one that most people are familiar with, with its hinged leaves and serrated fang-like leaf edges. In a way those tooth-like edges give it a truly carnivorous look although all they do is serve to prevent prey from escaping and thus act more like prison bars than teeth.

I had one of these a few years ago and out of concern that it had not caught any flies I occasionally fed it morsels of minced meat and the occasional mealy worm, which did not seem to do any harm although I suspect my axolotl was not too happy with me feeding the Venus Fly Trap its dinner.

Additional Information:

Scientific Name: Dionaea muscipula
Common names: Venus flytrap (English);  (French); S (German); (Spanish);

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida
Superorder: Caryophyllanae
Order: Caryophyllales –
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Dionaea – 
Species: Dionaea muscipula – 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [June 15 2014], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database,

On-line sources:

  • Royal Horticultural Society: Entry for
  • Official Website of the: Bristol University Botanical Gardens
  • Missouri Botanical gardens: Entry for 
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database: Entry for 
  • Seedaholic: Entry for Dionaea muscipula
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Venus Flytrap
  • Wikipedia: Entry for  Dionaea
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Droseraceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for

Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters):
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) :
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) :


  1. Carnivorous plants generally come from areas where their roots are unable to obtain enough nutrients from the soil, so they have developed a way of absorbing nutrients from animals, live or dead. Plants such as dionaea feed on small insects by trapping them and then digesting the contents of their bodies.

    Dionaea Muscipula DroseraceaePlant Care Propagation

  2. Thanks for the comments. I know I need to do a proper post covering carnivorous plants especially as I find them fascinating. Mind you I find plants in general fascinating, along with various critters that interact with them. But I still need to do a host of other carnivorous plant posts to use the stacks of photos I have of carnivorous plants which i have obtained from visits to various botanical gardens.
    Your comments are appreciated especially as it means that someone is actually reading my blog and finding it interesting enough to comment on. It also reminds me that I need to start working on posts that I have on hold as well as other posts that I have been planning to do.
    Thanks again and I hope you liked the rest of the blog