25 April 2016

U is for Utricularia

I am writing about herbs in the 2016 April AtoZ blogging challenge. Most of the herbs written in this series are those I have seen or used. We are into the final week of the challenge, and here we are refreshed after a holiday on Sunday. 

Flowers are always seem to convey beauty and innocence right? But I was quite surprised to find that some flowers are beautiful but the plant is not quite innocent, in fact they are just the opposite. Carnivorous to be precise!

We came across this pretty green and purple patch on a rocky plateau at Kaas and before I could go into raptures, our guide told us that the plant actually  has 'traps' that could catch and digest tiny insects... Sounds gory right, but then that is how Nature works and the Circle of Life is completed. In this case, insects are attracted both for pollination and food. Usually, the flowers are tasked with attracting pollinators and the traps to catch and digest insects are another found elsewhere on the plant.

Surely plants make their own food? Of course, but carnivorous plants often grow in habitats that are not rich in nutrients hence have to become.. well.. non-vegetarian!

AtoZ, blogging challenge, travel , herbs

So here we have it, U is for Utricularia which belongs to the Lentibulariaceae family. There are several species in this genus and many are endemic to the plateaus in the Western Ghats. Here is a close up, but dear reader, please forgive my amateur photography skills. These plants were barely 10"tall when I saw them.
The Burmann's Sundew (Drosera burmanii) is yet another stunning herb found at Kaas which is also carnivorous. 

Have you seen any carnivorous plants? Have you seen them in 'action'?
I have yet another interesting herb for you tomorrow.

Till then, Take Care!


Ann Bennett said...

We have pitcher plants in swampy areas of Georgia.

Nature is fabulous in it's wonders. I'm enjoying a walk through your part of the world.

Archana said...

I have seen pitcher plants in a botanical garden. Thank you Ann for stopping by and your kind words! :)

caz greenham said...

Love herbs!
Rosemary bush in my garden smells delish!

Seena said...

Pretty Archana. Happy last week!
#AtoZChallenge - U is for Ultrasound

Archana said...

Thanks Caz! Your garden sounds like a heavenly place :)

Archana said...

Happy last week to you too Seena!

bellybytes said...

I saw some carnivorous plants in the Flower Dome in the Gardens by the Bay but have never seen any in a real life situation. I've always wondered if these plants bite human fingers ;)

Kalpana said...

wow - adding to my knowledge of plants. Happy to have read this post.


Thanks for sharing loved it & added value to my knowledge.

My Era said...

I had heard about Drosera but Urticularia us something new for me.
I have forever been fascinated by carnivorous plants and loved adding this yo my list :)
The Era I Lived In

Archana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archana said...

@bellybytes- i have not checked if the plants bite human hands ;)I seriously doubt it. Cheers !

Archana said...

Thanks Kalpanaa :) Have a good day!

Archana said...

Thank you Richa :)

Archana said...

I find these fascinating too but they are hard to locate. Thanks My Era.

Kala Ravi said...

Truly fantastic! I have read about the pitcher plant and the sundew in school, but never seen them. Kaas valley, I am coming to you this year!
@KalaRavi16 from

Hill station Reader said...

Beautiful one ..and heheits okay
Forgave the click .

Archana said...

:) Yes do visit Kas Kala but on a weekday. Weekends would be horribly crowded. Thanks for stopping by!

Archana said...

Thank you Dixita mour!! :)