Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Whether Venus flytrap (dionaea muscipula) is endangered


Topic: Endangered Plants, Native Plants
Author: Nan Hampton
Date: Tuesday - April 04, 2006
From: Leander, TX

QUESTION: I am a 4th grader at Whitestone Elementary School in Leander, Texas. I am in the Quest program and I am doing a project on the venus flytrap and would like to ask you some questions. 1. Is there an issue with the venus flytrap, like are they becoming extinct? 2. If it is, is there a way to save it? 3. Do you know where I can get venus flytrap seeds to hand out to my classmates?

ANSWER: At this time the venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is not listed as "Endangered" or "Threatened" anywhere in the United States. The state of North Carolina does put it on their list of State Protected Plants in North Carolina and lists its status as "Special Concern". Although the "Special Concern" category is not as serious as the "Endangered" or "Threatened" category, you can see that the State of North Carolina is trying to protect its populations of venus flytraps by restricting anyone from digging up the plants to sell them. The best way to protect the venus flytrap, then, is to keep them from being removed by collectors. Another important way to keep the venus flytrap from disappearing is to protect the habitat in which it grows.

You can see information about the venus flytrap from the United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database. You can read many interesting facts about the flytrap on a page from the Botanical Society of America. There is a section on this page that tells you how to grow the flytrap.

You can try calling nurseries in your area to see if they have seeds. You can find the names and contact information for some nurseries near Leander if you visit our National Suppliers Directory Probably you will have to order the venus flytrap seeds and you may not have enough time to do that by your deadline. Here is one place on the internet, called Hortus Botanicus, that has seeds for sale. if you are able to find seeds in town, you would need to give out instructions on how to grow the plants from seeds and to care for the plants.
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