PITCHER PLANTS


A pitcher plant usually consists of a shallow root system and a creeping or climbing stem, often several meters long, and usually 1 cm or less in diameter (may be thicker in a few species, e.g., N. bicalcarata ). From the stem arises leaf-like expanded leaf stalks, similar to certain Citrus species, ending in a tendril, which in some species aids in climbing. The end of the tendril forms the pitcher, considered to be the true leaf. The pitcher starts as a small bud and gradually expands to form a round or tube-shaped trap.

The trap contains a fluid which is secreted by the plant, and may be watery or syrupy, and is used to drown the prey. The lower part of the trap contains glands which absorb the nutrients released from the decaying prey. Along the upper inside part of the trap is a slick waxy coating which makes the escape of its prey nearly impossible. Surrounding the entrance to the trap is a structure called the peristome (or ‘lip’) which is slippery and often quite colourful, attracting the prey but offering an unsure footing. Above the peristome is a lid (the operculum); in many species this keeps rain from diluting the fluid within the pitcher. The pitcher may contain nectar glands which attract the prey.


RAFFLESIA


Facts About Rafflesia

* Rafflesia is the largest individual flower. Titan arum bears the largest inflorescence.


* Rafflesia is a parasite which attaches itself to a host plant, Tetrastigma vine, which grows only in undisturbed rainforests, to obtain water and nutrients.


* The genus Rafflesia is named after adventurer and founder of the British colony of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles.


* Rafflesia is the official state flower of Sabah in Malaysia, as well as for the Surat Thani Province, Thailand.


* Rafflesia manillana, the smallest species in the genus Rafflesia is also has 20 cm diameter flowers.


* Rafflesia flowers are unisexual.


* Forest mammals and tree shrews feed on Rafflesia fruit which is 15cm in diameter, filled with smooth flesh and thousands of tiny hard coated seeds.


* It is believed that rafflesia is related to poinsettias, violets, passionflowers, and other members of the order Malpighiales.


* The rotten smell of the flower is due to the reddish
tentacle-like, branched ramentae, inside the corolla of petals.


* Rafflesia is an endangered or threatened genus.


* Rafflesia arnoldii does not have chlorophyll, as all the green plants have and so it cannot undergo photosynthesis.

Venus Flytrap

The Venus Flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant that catches and digests animal prey—mostly insects and arachnids. Its trapping structure is formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant’s leaves and is triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces. When an insect or spider crawling along the leaves comes into contact with one or more of the hairs twice in succession, the trap closes. The requirement of redundant triggering in this mechanism serves as a safeguard against the spurious expending of energy toward trapping other, non-living things which may not reward the plant with similar nutrition.

Slipper Orchirds

Paphiopedilum niveum (Slipper orchid) is a terrestrial orchid peculiar to the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia.The greatest variety of wild orchids are in the hills and mountains. Taman Negara and Cameron Highlands in Pahang are two of the better-known localities for observing orchids but real orchid admirers should visit Mount Kinabalu in Sabah. Orchids account for a quarter of all flowering plants on the mountain, totalling a staggering 1,200 species.


To obtain such abundance, orchids are opportunists that grow in high altitudes and high in the forest canopy, along the coastal plain and among rocky ravines, with most either creeping or climbing on sturdy tree trunks and intertwined among long branches. A few even survive on limestone rocks and in the moist shade of the jungle floor.
The greatest variety of wild orchids are in the hills and mountains. Taman Negara and Cameron Highlands in Pahang are two of the better-known localities for observing orchids but real orchid admirers should visit Mount Kinabalu in Sabah. Orchids account for a quarter of all flowering plants on the mountain, totalling a staggering 1,200 species.