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DIONAEA muscipula

Image of Dionaea muscipula

James Burghardt

Family

Droseraceae

Botanical Name

DIONAEA muscipula

Plant Common Name

Venus flytrap

General Description

Renowned for its insect-trapping leaves, Venus flytrap is a small, insectivorous perennial native to moist sandy habitats near the Carolina coast.

Each plant forms a neat rosette of leaves with broad winged stems and folding clam-like blades. The traps are yellowish to medium green on the outside and have reddish nectar glands on the inside edged with slender, hair-like snares. When disturbed by visiting insects, the traps snap shut and hairs fold over one another like bars. Trapped insects are slowly broken down and absorbed, providing nutrients that are in short supply in this species' native habitats.

In spring, short, leafless stalks arise from the center of the rosette, each topped with 3 to 10 white, insect-pollinated flowers. The flowers are followed by small capsules containing black seeds. Foliage turns reddish in fall, and persists all winter in milder climates.

Grow Venus flytrap in full sun to light shade and damp, infertile, acidic soil. Garden grown specimens should be provided clean, non-chlorinated water. Collected rainwater is best. Terrarium specimens require high summertime humidity and chilly winter temperatures (40ºF or 4ºC) to survive. Grow in a bog garden or bog terrarium interplanted with butterworts, pitcher plants or sundews.

Leaves will deteriorate after trapping two to four insects or closing approximately seven times. New traps are produced through summer.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3"-18" / 7.6cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Light Green, Lime Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Red, Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes