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Archive for October 29th, 2007

Carnivorous plants -The Venus Flytrap

One of my interests is carnivorous plants. I am frequently asked, “Are there carnivorous plants in Singapore?” The answer is Yes -Pitcher plants (Nepenthes)** and Bladderworts (Utricularia).

The carnivorous plant that most people have heard of – the Venus Flytrap (VFT) -is, however, not a native Singapore plant. It is, in fact, a native of South-eastern USA.

One can buy the plant from local flower nurseries between $5-$10 for a potted plant. Although the VFT is so famous, for a long time only Laos had issued a stamp of it. A few weeks ago the USA issued a stamp of its VFT.

Incidentally, the common name Venus Flytrap (VFT) is usually regarded as a translation from its scientific name, Dionaeamuscipula. It seems this translation may not be correct. Some language experts have hypothesised that Dionaea should be linked to Diana, the goddess of hunting, rather than to Venus, the goddess of love.

More interesting, though, is that muscipulashould be translated as mouse-trap rather than fly-trap as ‘mus-‘ is the Latin word for mouse. So the plant that is known world-wide as Venus Flytrap should be called Diana Mousetrap! In which case, its initials will
change from VFT to DMT.
Frog and Pitcher Plant stamp

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2001
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

29 October, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Posted in Year 2001