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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.

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

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Monday - December 01, 2008

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

QUESTION:

Will a venus flytrap bite a person? Taylor

ANSWER:

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

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