Michigan Plants That Eat Bugs, Frogs and Mice
Michigan has a nice little handful of meat-eatin’, bug & animal-snackin’ plants. We don’t have a Venus Flytrap – that’s left to North & South Carolina. But we DO have our fair share. Thanks to bogs, swamps, and other wet environments, the soil nutrients are low…therefore, these plants adapted another way to get their nutrition…eating bugs and small animals! For instance, we have:
These plants reside in the wettest part of a swamp. Their roots have traps – or ‘bladders’ – at the base which will grab any small living creature underwater and gobble it up. These little guys are QUICK!
When insects and small animals are attracted to this plant, they enter the mouth of the ‘pitcher’. Unfortunately for them, they can’t escape, thanks to the little ‘hairs’ that point downward, making it impossible for them to crawl back out. They wind up in a pool of liquid, chock-full of digestive enzymes. Mixed with this fluid, the victims are turned into a kind of ‘soup’ which the plant digests over time. Unlucky frogs and mice have also been eaten by this plant.
Sundews are usually found closeby the Pitcher Plant. The head of the Sundew has these prickly hairs with a drop of sweet liquid on its tip. Not only is it sweet to attract its prey, but it's also a highly effective natural glue. Once a fly, ant, or other insect gets on these drops, that’s it. He’s toast. Once a bug is trapped, the Sundew wraps its tentacles around it, engulfs the bug by it's leaf, and digests it. Sundews are responsible for getting rid of billions of pesky insects.
Wanna grow your own? I suppose you can…all three are actually very pretty!
Okay but where in Michigan can we find ‘em?
All three – Bladderwort, Pitcher Plant, and Sundew are all found in the many little bodies of water in Oakland County. Take a look below!