En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
10 ratings

Monday - December 01, 2008

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Will a Venus flytrap bite?
Answered by: Joe Marcus


Will a venus flytrap bite a person? Taylor


If they ever perfect a people-shrinking ray and someone gets shrunk to the size of a housefly, that poor, tiny person might want to watch out for hungry Venus flytraps.  Of course, they'll want to watch out for fly swatters, too!  On the other hand, if someone ever builds a super-sizer machine and make a Venus flytrap grow to the size of a house, then everyone will want to watch out!  Fortunately for people, Venus flytrap plants can't eat anything much bigger than a housefly and mostly they eat mosquitoes and gnats.  If you put the tip of your finger in the flytrap's bug eating mouth, it will quickly snap shut, but it won't hurt at all.  In fact, it will only tickle a little bit since it's "teeth" are really more like eyelash hairs than teeth.

Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) is native to a pretty small area in North and South Carolina where it can be found growing wild in swampy areas.  Lots of people think they're pretty cool, so they've been grown for years in other places.


From the Image Gallery

Venus flytrap
Dionaea muscipula

More General Botany Questions

Differences in prostrate Mimosa species
May 27, 2013 - There are apparently a lot of little pink puffy-flowered prostrate plants with thorny stems and sensitive leaves: Mimosa microphylla, Mimosa roemeriana, Mimosa strigillosa. How does one tell them apar...
view the full question and answer

Key for Verbesina virginica
June 16, 2014 - Are the stems of Verbesina virginica hairy? My in-laws have what I believe is Verbesina virginica (blooms in September here in VA) and another wild flower that blooms before it and is yellow. I'd l...
view the full question and answer

Ways to group plants
April 14, 2009 - Are deciduous plants and leaves and roots ways to group plants? I need the answer now; tell me the answer if some are wrong?
view the full question and answer

Are Prunus minutiflora male and female flowers on different plants?
March 12, 2014 - I have a Prunus minutiflora and have recently learned the male and female flowers are on separate plants. How can I determine if I have a male or female plant?
view the full question and answer

Thickness of liquid when growing plants
February 09, 2008 - Q: Does the thickness of liquid matter when growing plants?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center