inside the flower

The corpse flower’s bloom attracts pollinators with its bad smell.

Big Stink

A rare flower is about to bloom in a rain forest in the country of Sumatra. It has been growing for nine years. The blossom will open for 48 hours. During this time, it needs to be pollinated so new flowers will grow.

The inside of the flower is deep red. But, it’s the smell that you notice. The corpse flower smells like decay and dirty diapers. Its bad smell signals a free meal. Insects land on the flower. They pollinate it as they search for food.

The Venus flytrap’s leaves snap shut to trap  insects.

The Need for Speed

A fly sees a flash of red. It lands on the sticky red surface. Now, it’s inside a hinged leaf. In a second, the leaf snaps shut like a mouth. Spiky edges of the leaf act like a fence. The fly tries to crawl out. But, it’s no use. It has been caught by a Venus flytrap. And, it’s on its way to being eaten!

Most plants get nutrients from the soil and air. But, these plants live in poor soil. They can’t get the nutrients they need. So, they get food another way. They eat live prey.

The plant’s leaves are hinged like a clamshell. Inside are hairs that sense motion. When an insect moves on it, the leaf snaps shut. It traps the insect.

Chemicals in the plant break down the soft parts of the insect. Nutrients are taken in. Then the leaves open, and the unwanted parts fall out.