Carnivorous Plants: The Five Most Dangerous Species

  1. The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula).
  2. The butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris)
  3. The pitcher plant (Nephentes)
  4. The pitcher plant (Sarracenia)
  5. The sundew (Drosera)

Carnivorous plants live all over the world, they have bite and look spectacular. Here you can learn about the most dangerous species.

Carnivorous plants, also called carnivores, are superlative creatures. From tiny to huge, they literally enrich the plant world all over the world. Even Europe has carnivorous species such as the sundew to offer. Most of the time, the plants delight the eye with bizarre appearances – and sometimes creepy methods of providing themselves with food. Here is an overview of how they become dangerous to their prey: How animals fall for them, are sucked in with negative pressure, or slide hopelessly to their deaths.

Carnivorous plants and their dangerous capture methods

The sundew is the world’s largest group of carnivorous plants, with 250 species. The dwarf sundew (Drosera scorpioides) is a tiny member of its family. The magnificent sundew (Drosera magnifica), on the other hand, which was discovered only a few years ago and grows up to 150 centimeters tall, apparently only grows on a single mountain in Brazil and is considered to be threatened with extinction. With their tentacles, sundew species produce droplets of mucilage that mainly attract flying insects. If the prey is trapped, the tentacles or leaves bend to suffocate it.

The candidate with the most spectacular tentacles is the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). This plant is also the most popular carnivore for the windowsill, where many carnivorous plants thrive magnificently. It attracts animals with its intensely red, bristly tentacles and nectar, then rapidly snaps at them as soon as they touch the bristles.

Dangerous carnivores: plant slides and vacuum traps


The pitcher plant species Nepenthes Rajah, which grows only in the rainforests of Borneo, is considered the largest carnivorous plant in the world. The pitcher plant’s name is no coincidence: the climbing plant reshapes leaves into pitcher-shaped structures, in which prey attracted by the scent of nectar slides to their deaths on a slippery path.

The water hose species (Utricularia) can boast a method of capture that is also considered one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom. They live mostly in water, but also on land, and work physically with negative pressure: they have developed tiny trap bladders that are under tension. If a living creature touches their feeler bristles, negative pressure is created in the bladder and the animal is sucked in at lightning speed.

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