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V is for Venus Fly Trap

November 3, 2017 - Posted in Carolina Stories

The Venus Fly Trap is a carnivorous plant found in South Carolina.

TRANSCRIPT

Where we're walking right now is a state heritage preserve called Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve. The interesting thing about Lewis Ocean Bay is it's a real biological paradise. There's about ten relatively rare carnivorous plants. The most important thing about this area is we're getting closer to the edge of this wetland. You can feel the ground start to get springy under your feet. On the ground you see this nice, light green carpet of peat moss. The reason I think Venus flytraps tend to be associated with this is it holds a tremendous amount of water. I think it makes a more constant moisture environment for the plants to grow.

Another problem we have here is people try to dig these plants up all the time. It's illegal to do that in this preserve, but illegal poaching has been probably one of the biggest problems causing population declines of Venus flytraps in South Carolina and in North Carolina. 

We often look at the records where Venus flytraps used to be found. We travel to places where they were 10, 15 years ago, and instead of finding Venus flytraps, we find shopping centers, housing developments, golf courses, and things like that. People have noted that the plant doesn't catch many flies. It catches more spiders and ants. But the only thing we can say is the name has stuck, and luckily it seems as though the plant has also persisted in South Carolina.

So V must be, in South Carolina, the Venus flytrap.

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