Rare plant turns carnivorous when it is low on a key nutrient

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Rare plant turns carnivorous when it is low on a key nutrient


Sticky glands on leaves of the liana Triphyophyllum peltatum that emerge when the plant turns carnivorous

Traud Winkelmann/Leibniz University Hannover

A rare species of climbing vine from West Africa can turn into a carnivore when it doesn’t get enough nutrition from the soil.

The liana Triphyophyllum peltatum grows in moist, forested hillsides in coastal regions of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast.

While some plants are fully carnivorous, T. peltatum is the only one known to be a part-time carnivore. It can unfurl special leaves with glands oozing sticky droplets that trap beetles …



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