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Fun Facts on the Venus Flytrap

The Venus flytrap or Dionaea muscipula is a small, carnivorous plant that is harmless to humans but deadly to certain insects. Although this plant has been the subject of scientific interest for many years, its closing mechanism is still not fully understood.

Specific Habitat

The Venus flytrap is native to only one region in the world --- a 75-mile area around Wilmington, North Carolina. Although this plant has been successfully introduced to certain areas of Florida and New Jersey, its true habitat lies in the bogs of the Coastal Plains region between southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina.

Diet

Adapted to growing in poor, sandy, acidic soil conditions, the Venus flytrap derives its nutrition by ingesting small spiders and insects such as flies and ants. The plant takes approximately three to 14 days to digest a meal.

Trap

The Venus flytrap catches insects in traps consisting of hinged, clamshell-shaped leaves, equipped with finger-like teeth along the edges. When an insect touches two or more sensitive trigger hairs inside the trap, the trap jaws spring closed, tightening around the insect. According to North Carolina State University, each trap is capable of closing only two to four times before the leaves turn black and die.

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About the Author

Based in the Atlanta area, Charlene Williams has been writing and editing since 1988. She has over 15 years of experience working as a technical writer in the software industry. She has worked as a freelance writer for the past five years, and is a contributing writer for eHow and Answerbag. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kennesaw State University.