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The Encyclopedia of House Plants Essay

Dionaea muscipula is called the venous fly trap. It is an angiosperm that possesses a modified leaf system. The normal angiosperm leaf consists of a base, a lamina which is also called a blade, a petiole and two stipules. A slight expansion is notices on the leaf base. This is the point where the leaf attaches to the stem. The purpose of this modification is for feeding. The plant is known as an insectivorous plant because it feeds on insect after trapping it with its modified leaf.

Therefore the modified leaf serves as a means of feeding. The leaves have a terminal section which is divided into lobes. The lobes serve as sensors as they are sensitive to touch. The inside surface, which faces upwards, is sensitive to touch. Moreover, the surface is brightly coloured red so as to attract the insects. The colour resembles that of a brightly coloured flower. The midrib is also very flexible as it can close the blade of the leaf once an insect is caught.

This mechanism is controlled by an ionic mechanism which is in turn dependent on the sensory activities of the lobe sensor. Moreover, as the fly trap closes around the insect, further struggling movement by the insect causes more tight closure of the leaf blade around the insect. This surface of the leaf also secretes digestive enzymes that rapidly digest the insect, and later extrudes the remnant after the ‘feeding’ process is completed.

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REFERENCES

Dionaea. The Encyclopedia of House Plants. <http://www. gflora. com/index. php? cmd=genus_body&genus_id=266>

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