A new plant has been discovered in the Philippines high atop Mt. Victoria. Normally this is not a news worthy discovery to you and I but this plant is quite different. This one eats rats!
Discovered by missionaries in 2000 a team of botanists led by Stewart McPherson of Red Fern Natural History Productions set out to find it and were amazed by it’s size. The ‘pitcher’ plant (so named for it’s shape) is filled with a liquid and hungry vertebrate such as frogs, mice and rats looking for a meal will fall in and be trapped. The acidic juice does a number on them and they become food for the plant.
Actually this type of plant is not completely new since the first was found in Borneo back in 1858 and attempts have been made to replicate or grow these pitcher plants for commercial use but with little success.The growing conditions are hard to reproduce and so these rare finds will be limited only to a few select places in the world. (Word has it that the Victor mouse trap company has the perfect soil formula boxed up and on a shelf in a warehouse somewhere right next to GM’s carburetor that can get you 150 miles to the gallon.)
So this got me to thinking what would you do if you had a the carnivorous plant (nepenthes attenboroughii) in your back yard? I mean what if your kitty got to close? Would Round up do the trick or would you need to use a hav a hart live trap to bag this thing? If you did what would you use for bait? Poor kitty.
Well for now you don’t need to worry unless you are planning a trip to the far regions of southeast Asia. That is unless of course one of the quirky missionaries brought one home on a plane and they spread like wildfire across the land and these things wreaked havoc eating everything in sight. That might make a good movie plot if nothing else. “Canivorous Plants on a Plane” starring Samuel Jackson….. nah, somehow I think that ones been tried and no one was fooled with that one either.