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Flesh Eating Plants

Updated on October 7, 2019
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I hot compost and vermicompost (worms) to support gardening in my backyard. I have started growing hops (in Florida) to brew beer.

Top 5 Carnivorous plants

We generally think of plants as food, ornamentation, ground cover, or even to climb. These plants turn the tables on their would be predators. Carnivorous plants eat mainly bugs, but have also been found with frogs, birds, and even small rodents and rats. Carnivorous plants are usually very striking and exotic looking to attract prey. Due to their very specific nature, exotic plants have evolved quite differently from the rest of the plant kingdom. They have special qualities like sticky sap, enticing scents, or even movement to trick their prey into making a fatal mistake.

Picture by: Andreas Eils
Picture by: Andreas Eils

#5 Pitcher Plants

Nepenthes and Sarrecenia

Pitcher plants are generally very striking, as that is part of their trap. They attract insects by color, scent, and by nectar. They tend to climb something nearby and then shoot out a pitcher to trap insects.

Various species exist, some more dramatic looking than others.

Nepenthes, like the one at the top of this page, are sometimes called "Monkey Cups" because monkeys sometimes drink water directly from them.

Author: Jan Wieneke
Author: Jan Wieneke

#4 Waterwheel Traps

The waterwheel trap differs from other plants here in that it is aquatic. The waterwheel trap is related to the Venus Fly Trap, and has a very similar mechanism of action.

The waterwheel trap eats small aquatic invertebrates.

#3 Sundews


Sundews work by attracting insects with sweet nectar, which is so sticky that it traps the insect to the sundew. The plant may curl around its meal, and secondary glands release enzymes to break down the insect.

Very exotic looking plants, very beautiful. Some grow 3 m in height.

Photo by NoahElhardt Date
Photo by NoahElhardt Date

#2 Cobra Lily

The Cobra Lily is so named to to its similar shape to the cobra snake with hood extended. It also has a split "tongue" also much like a snake.

The Cobra Lily works by enticing insects through a downwards facing hole near the top of the plant. Once the insect is inside, it is unable to find the way out due to "false windows" of light coming through the top of the plant. After becoming exhausted, the insects falls down inside to the base of the plant, where digestive enzymes break down the insect.

#1 Venus Fly Trap

The Venus Fly Trap tops our list of coolest carnivorous plants. The Venus Fly Trap is one of the few plants capable of movement. While most of our previous plants work by either disorienting the insect or working like sticky flypaper, the Venus fly trap snaps shut like a leg hold trap.

The Venus Fly Trap is as dramatic as it is deadly.

I almost feel sorry for the flies here.


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