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This is a Pitcher Plant. The leaves form long, hollow tubes, that bend over at the top to form insect traps. Why do the insects go in, and why does the plant want the insects to go in?

Answer:

Pitcher Plants use a variety of lures to attract insects, including colors, patterns, smells, water to drink, and sweet nectars. Once the insect gets there, things get a bit less friendly, with curved, "one way" hairs that let the insect move inward, but not outwards, and with narcotics mixed in with the nectar. The curved tube keeps insects from flying out of the trap. The liquid in the bottom of the trap contains wetting agents that help the water's surface tension actually pull the insect under the surface, along with digestive enzymes that break it down.

The plant needs the insects because they are rich in nitrogen. Pitcher Plants are adapted to grow in nitrogen poor soil, attracting their own fertilizer to let them grow in places that many other plants cannot. All in all, an amazing plant!

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