Revenge of the plants

It’s not often that you see plants getting their revenge. Warning, there may be gross bits.

Since my boys were small, we’ve always had carnivorous plants in the house. The only non-vegetarians apart from the cat. We grow pitcher plants (sarracenia) in the kitchen in the vain hope that they may eat a few of the fruit flies that inevitably come in from the compost bins. Fruit flies are harmless but a bit annoying. Mostly the pitcher plants don’t have much effect but it feels like we’re at least trying. This winter I managed to kill off the plant that we’d had for a few years – too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, not enough insects, too many insects? – one of these things, unless it was the dreaded vine weevils getting in from the garden and eating the roots.

I’d been feeling  guilty about the dead plant. The fruit flies had made their spring appearance, so I bought two new pitcher plants, and a venus fly trap, to see how they would get on. The fruit flies are still multiplying and there didn’t seem to be much evidence of them being caught by the plants. Fast forward to yesterday evening and I noticed holes in the leaves – the blasted vine weevils at it again:

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– and then I saw the body…

….. well half a body. You know the joke about what is worse than finding a maggot in an apple? Well this was a revised version. What is better than finding a vine weevil on your pitcher plant? Finding half a vine weevil on your pitcher plant. This glorious plant had eaten the vine weevil! I told you it would be gross but I’ve spared you the photograph. By the time I took this one, the weevil had been completely consumed.

I’ve always grown these plants inside but apparently they can survive outside as well. I may have to fill the garden with these wonders and see if they can eat all the weevils and perhaps a few slugs into the bargain.

3 thoughts on “Revenge of the plants

  1. You could be onto something big, Jackie. Quite why a plant would want to eat a vine weevil, I don’t know, but I’m pleased you are having success in the domain.

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