Utricularia vulgaris – bladderwort

Utricularia vulgaris is a free-floating carnivorous aquatic plant which traps prey in flattened bladders. This opaque gelatin model depicts detail of the bladder structure which is widely agreed to be one of the most spohisticated structures in the plant kingdom.

Each bladder has a mouth guarded by a hanging door, the stiff bristles near the lower edge act as the tripping mechanism. When a small animal brushes against the bristles the door snaps shut behind it . Enzymes and bacterial action break down the prey and nutrients are absorbed through the cell walls.

Drosera rotundifolia – sundew

Drosera rotundifolia or sundew is a carnivorous plant that is often found in bogs or marshes. This 30cm model represents a leaf only 4-10mm in size. The leaves grow on a long peitiole with club shaped hairs on the surface and secrete a clear sticky fluid which attacts and traps insects. When an insect is caught the hairs bend inward and the leaf curls around the insect. Enzymes secreted by the hairs as well as bacteria digest the insects and nutrients released from the prey are then absorbed by the glands that secrete the digestive enzymes.

Nepenthes destillatoria – pitcher plant

The pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant which traps prey in a pitcher shaped leaf modification growing from an extension of the leaf midrib called the tendril. The cup shaped trap contains fluid secreted by the plant in which the prey (usually insect) are trapped and drown. The lid or operculum over the pitcher may keep rain from diuting the fluid. Nutrients are absorbed by glands in the lower part of the cup.