Fat plants

Venus Flytrap - Dionaena muscipula

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GeneralitŠ°

The very particular name indicates a plant of American origin, long cultivated, both as a houseplant and as a plant for particular collections; it is a carnivorous plant, which particularly attracts fans of these species. The name Dionaea derives from one of the attributes of Aphrodite, daughter of Dione; it was attributed to it by one of the first scholars who became interested in this small plant, who found it so beautiful and graceful that it was assimilated to the goddess of love and beauty.

The dionee are in fact very particular plants, they produce small rosettes of light leaves, generally low on the ground; along with the leaves develop long stems, prostrate or erect, which lead to the end of the particular circular conformations, divided in the center by a depression, with thin filaments on the outer margin: these are real traps, which, at the slightest touch, they snap, closing tightly.

In spring, a cylindrical stem rises from the center of the rosette, bringing some buds to the apex, which will produce small white star-shaped flowers.

The plant originates from a short rhizome, which produces a small root system.


Plants

The dionea, as happens for many other similar plants, is a carnivorous plant: it obtains the mineral salts it needs from small insects, such as mosquitoes or flies, which are trapped between the leaves. The plant has the ability to digest insects, and exploit them to obtain nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, and other microelements, or the minerals that we generally add to the soil of our potted plants.

Thanks to this stratagem, carnivorous plants can survive in places completely free of mineral salts, in soils where other plants can hardly survive.

In reality, therefore, these are not real carnivorous plants, it would be better to call them insectivores; each of these plants generally needs about 2-3 small insects per month, to meet the needs of mineral salts of the whole plant.

Recall that the plant takes a lot of energy to trigger and close the traps; It is therefore a good practice to avoid triggering the traps with your finger or inserting small objects, because it could lead the plant to spend an excessive amount of energy. Over time, the entire plant decays.

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