Carnivorous Plants

 5 Basic Trapping Methods Carnivorous Plants Use

  • Flypaper traps: These plants have sticky leaves that act like glue to hold onto a trapped insect. (sundew)
  • Snap traps: These plants work similarly to a bear trap, snapping closed when an insect touches the “trigger hairs” on the leaves. (Venus fly trap)
  • Bladder traps: These plants contain vacuum-like bladders that suck insects inside when they get too close. (bladderworts)
  • Lobster pot traps: These plants use inward-pointing hairs to force the prey down to the digestive organ and prevent the insect from climbing back out. (corkscrew plants)
  • Pitfall traps: These plants use nectar to bribe insects towards a slippery surface that causes the insects to fall into the trap. (pitcher plant)

Native Alabama Carnivorous Plants

Alabama has dozens of carnivorous plants. These are known commonly as varieties of sundew plants, pitcher plants, butterwort, and bladderwort plants. These plants all eat insects or small live organisms to survive. Most of these plants, especially the butterworts and bladderworts, prefer wet, marshy areas to live. Many of the plants on this list are slowly becoming endangered due to habitat loss. Notice that Venus fly traps are not native to Alabama.

The following plants are carnivorous plants that are native to Alabama:

  • Red Sundew (Drosera brevifolia)
  • Pink Sundew (Drosera capillaris)
  • Thread-leaved Sundew (Drosera filiformis)
  • Spoonleaf Sundew (Drosera intermedia)
  • Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifiolia)
  • Cane-break Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia alabamensis)
  • Yellow Trumpets (Sarracenia alata)
  • Yellow Pitcher plant (Sarracenia flava)
  • White-topped Pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla)
  • Green Pitcher plant (Sarracenia oreophila)
  • Parrot Pitcher plant (Sarracenia psittacina)
  • Purple Pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea)
  • Burk’s Southern Pitcher plant (Sarracenia rosea)
  • Yellow Butterwort (Pinguicula lutea)
  • Southern Butterwort (Pinguicula primuliflora)
  • Common Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris)
  • Horned Bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta)
  • Florida Yellow Bladderwort (Utricularia floridana)
  • Leafy Bladderwort (Utricularia foliosa)
  • Floating Bladderwort (Utricularia gibba)
  • Swollen Bladderwort (Utricularia infalta)
  • Flatleaf Bladderwort (Utricularia intermedia)
  • Southern Bladderwort (Utricularia juncea)
  • Common Bladderwort (Utricularia macrorhiza)
  • Lesser Bladderwort (Utricularia minor)
  • Pale Bladderwort (Utricularia ochroleuca)
  • Piedmont Bladderwort (Utricularia olivacea)
  • Eastern Purple Bladderwort (Utricularia purpurea)
  • Little Floating Bladderwort (Utricularia radiate)
  • Fringed Bladderwort (Utricularia simulans)
  • Striped Bladderwort (Utricularia striata)

  Visit Splinter Hill Bog Preserve

 Visit Little River Canyon to observe the Green Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia oreophila), an endangered species.

 How to cultivate pitcher plants and Venus fly traps

More content coming soon!

Hotspots made possible with thanks to our collaborative partner, Extension.