An always intriguing group of plants, there are examples of these botanical innovators from all over the world at the Garden. Many of the tropical species can be seen in the Fuqua Orchid Center and Fuqua Conservatory while outside in the Conservation Garden and in the Children's Garden are stunning displays of our local botanical treasures native to the Southeastern United States.
The common theme for carnivorous plants is that they are found in nutrient poor-habitats. These habitats are varied and include bogs and wetlands where water moving through them carries away any accumulated nutrition or the soils are of a type that is inherently nutrient poor. These plants have distinctive and often elaborate structures to capture additional nitrogen, often in the form of insects.
At the Garden, the vining Nepenthes Asian Pitcher Plants can be seen hanging in the Special Exhibits area of the Fuqua Orchid Center and the naturalistic landscapes of the Orchid Display House and Tropical High Elevation House of the Fuqua Orchid Center. These exotic plants produce elaborate cup-like structures at the ends of their leaves that hold fluid containing digestive enzymes to break down captured prey allowing the nutrients to be absorbed. The amazing array of shapes and sizes vary depending on the type of prey available in the native habitat.
In the Tropical High Elevation House you’ll find the Heliamphora Sun Pitchers, whose entire leaves develop into elegant living vases that also hold enzymatic fluids to digest their insect prey. They are naturally found on the tepuis or table-top mountains of Northern South America. They share this other worldly landscape with many other types of carnivorous plants.
Outside in the Conservation Garden and in the Children’s Garden the astonishing Sarracenia, or White Pitcher Plant, species are planted in constructed bogs to best recreate their Southeastern United States bog habitats. They also produce upright vase-like leaves holding digestive fluids to break down captured insects. These dramatic species produce many sizes and colors of leaves. The Sarracenia are a nationally accredited plant collection recognized by the Plant Collection Network, a program of the American Public Gardens Association.