Index > Garden Blog

Date: 8 Sep 2021, Entry id: 1631142061-1

Nepenthes: Deadly Traps of Monkey Cups

by Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

...The name "monkey cups" refers to the fact that monkeys were once thought to drink rainwater from the pitchers. This is false; monkeys do not drink from them, and the pitchers are filled with digestive juices, rather than rainwater. The trap contains a fluid of the plant's own production, which may be watery or more viscous, and is used to drown the prey...
...The lower part of the trap contains glands which absorb nutrients from captured prey. Along the upper inside part of the trap is a slick, waxy coating which makes the escape of its prey nearly impossible...
...Prey usually consists of insects, but the largest Nepenthes species may occasionally catch small vertebrates, such as rats and lizards. Records of cultivated plants trapping small birds have been made!..