Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Those Cool Venus Fly Traps!!!!





Good Morning!

This week I taught my perennial lesson to a group elementary school children on Carnivorous Plants! I have taught this lesson for the last four years! There is no doubt about it; those Venus Fly Trap Plants are sooooo cool!

This year's lesson was different in a number of ways! First, my Venus Fly Trap plant recently died! Now, having read extensively on these plants to prepare for this unit, I know that the demise of this plant was not unusual. However, I was extremely successful in keeping it alive for FOUR years! From what I've read, keeping a Fly Trap alive for one year is considered a success! Buying a Venus Fly Trap (VFT) plant in Wisconsin in the winter is impossible! So, I taught the class without a real live plant!

The second difference was that I used the internet and a smart board to project photographs of REAL Venus Fly Traps and other Carnivorous Plants for the children to view! This was immensely helpful. Although I consider myself a jewelry artist, I am not that adept at drawing. Usually my rough drawings of plant parts get me by, but I really wanted to start incorporating technology into my garden club presentations! The photographs were from the Botany.org (Botanical Society of America) and can be reached using this link;

I also found a cool video of a VFT plant actually trapping an insect! This video takes only seconds to watch but is cool to see because even if you own a VFT, you might not witness the plant capturing the flies! The link to view this video is found at;

So, I will leave you today with some cool facts about the Venus Fly Trap.

- The scientific name for the Venus Fly Trap is Dionaea muscipula.

-The plant is indigenous to the boggy areas of North and South Carolina.

-The leaves form a rosette shape.

-One set of leaves on the VFT can only trap an insect a finite number of times (3, from what I've read) and then those leaves die.

-The most common meal is ants, not flies!

-If a trap closes falsely (one something it can't eat), the leaves will re-open in 24 hours.

-The plant should be kept moist and grown only in peat or sphagnum moss.
(Mine did great in a terrarium).

A great place to view Carnivorous Plants is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. The above pictures are from my last visit there in 2009. You'll note that there are other carnivorous plants in the pictures.....just as cool as the Venus Fly Trap!!! Maybe, I'll tell you about those next!

Thanks for stopping by!
Carol

P.S. Please visit my etsy shop as I am adding new creations daily! I also have a HUGE sale section where pieces have been marked down by 50-60%! Thanks!

2 comments:

  1. That is so fun! I used to have a little venus fly trap (I think from Walmart!) and it was so fun to watch it snap shut on insects (or pencil tips, haha). Unfortunately, I left it outside on a really really hot day and it shriveled up and died! :( Maybe I'll get another some day. :)

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  2. What a cool program for the kids. I remember having a venus fly trap in my classroom in I think the 3rd or 4th grade.

    Have a great day!

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