VENUS FLYTRAP 'ROYAL RED' Dionaea muscipula

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The Venus flytrap (also referred to as Venus's flytrap or Venus' flytrap), Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States in North Carolina and South Carolina. It catches its prey—chiefly insects and arachnids—with a trapping structure triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces. When an insect or spider crawling along the leaves contacts a hair, the trap prepares to close, snapping shut only if another contact occurs within approximately twenty seconds of the first strike. The requirement of redundant triggering in this mechanism serves as a Safeguard against wasting energy by trapping objects with no nutritional value, and the plant will only begin digestion after five more stimuli to ensure it has caught a live bug worthy of consumption.

Speed of closing can vary depending on the amount of humidity, light, size of prey, and general growing conditions. The speed with which traps close can be used as an indicator of a plant's general health. Venus flytraps are not as humidity-dependent as are some other carnivorous plants.

Most carnivorous plants selectively feed on specific prey. This selection is due to the available prey and the type of trap used by the organism. With the Venus flytrap, prey is limited to beetles, spiders and other crawling arthropods. In fact, the Dionaea diet is 33% ants, 30% spiders, 10% beetles, and 10% grasshoppers, with fewer than 5% flying insects.

If the prey is unable to escape, it will continue to stimulate the inner surface of the lobes, and this causes a further growth response that forces the edges of the lobes together, eventually sealing the trap hermetically and forming a "stomach" in which digestion occurs

Digestion takes about ten days, after which the prey is reduced to a husk of chitin. The trap then reopens, and is ready for reuse.

Plants can be propagated by seed. The plants will live for 20 to 30 years if cultivated in the right conditions.

Height: 5-6 inches, 13-15cm

Hardiness zones: 9-11

Type: Tropical or houseplant

Seeds per pack: 3

Germination: Use a mix of 50% peat moss, and 50% sand or perlite. First, rinse the sand. Once cleaned, mix the sand with dampened peat moss, and gently press the mixture into a container. Flatten the surface of the soil. Gently place the seeds in the surface of the soil, do not bury them. Then, use a spray bottle to dampen the soil and the seeds. Place the container in a bag to retain moisture. Keep the container in a warm room, about 80-85F, or about 30C is ideal. Keep the seeds in bright light, but not in direct sunlight. Keep the soil consistently moist, not completely saturated, but it is VERY important that they never dry out. The seeds can be a little slow to germinate, so patience is required, and they will typically germinate within 5-8 weeks.

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