Venus Flytraps – Endangered?

The Venus flytrap, one of the most distinctive plants on the planet and a South Carolina native, isn’t yet listed as an endangered species but it is certainly at risk. Venus flytraps grow in the coastal plain and sandhills, in the longleaf pine habitat that is home to so many threatened plant species. They live in nutrient-poor soil and acquire necessary nutrients by trapping and dissolving insects. (They are not in fact carnivorous, or even insectivorous, because plants don’t eat. They make their own sugars by performing photosynthesis; the insects are more like fertilizer.) Venus flytraps are increasingly rare. Aside from habitat loss, they are threatened by collectors, who long to add carnivorous plants to their menageries.  Botanists have petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service to add them to the Endangered Species List. You can sign this petition in support of this project.

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