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Carnivorous Plant

Venus Flytrap

by Steven Case, 2007
NC Government & Heritage Library.

See also: Venus Flytrap (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina)

The General Assembly of 2005 adopted the Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) as the official State Carnivorous Plant (Session Laws, 2005, c. 74).

Though it is known and cultivated throughout the world, it is native only to a small area of the Coastal Plain in North and South Carolina (mostly within a 75 mile radius around Wilmington).

The trap is activated when an insect (or other object) brushes 2 or more times against bristles that grow on the surface of the leaf. The trap springs shut in less than a second, but doesn't close completely until it has determined (either chemically or through movement) if it has caught worthwhile food. If it has, the trap gradually seals completely shut, allowing digestion to take place. It reopens in 3 days to 2 weeks.

References and additional resources:

Meeker-O'Connell, Ann. "How Venus Flytraps Work." HowStuffWorks. Accessed 2/2011. Online at

Schnell, D., Catling, P., Folkerts, G., Frost, C., Gardner, R., et al. 2000. Dionaea muscipula. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. Accessed 2/2011. Online at

"Venus Flytrap." 2007. PLANTS Database. USDA, NRCS. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA.

Learn NC resources

Image references:

Fales, Dave. 2011. "Venus flytraps in New Hanover County." Online at

Origin - location: 





Love this site


awesome and the best learning site ever


Do you know why the venus fly trap was adopted as the carnivorous plant of NC? It is a question my son has for his project and we can't find the answer anywhere.



The Law itself may have some helpful information. The full text of it is online at

It gives some information as to why it was selected:

Whereas, the Venus flytrap is a small flowering perennial plant that grows in boggy areas of the Southeastern United States; and

Whereas, the Venus flytrap is unique in that it is a carnivorous plant characterized by leaves with hinged lobes that spring shut when stimulated by insects; and

Whereas, the Venus flytrap is native to the Coastal Plain of North Carolina and is legally protected by the State as a species of special concern; and

Whereas, the Venus flytrap deserves to be adopted as the official carnivorous plant of the State of North Carolina because it is a mysterious and wonderful natural resource; (

I hope this information helps! I just tried emailing this to you but it bounced.

Good luck in your research!

Michelle Czaikowski, Government & Heritage Library


Wanted to thank you for your information, help and time!!


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