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Energy & Environment

Photos: These Carnivorous Plants Want to Lure You to San Antonio

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Ann Choi for KUT News

Looking for one last summer getaway  before school starts? The San Antonio Botanical Garden has a suggestion to Austinites; go see some carnivorous plants.

"Many of these plants grow in the area where the soil is very poor – so capturing insects is almost like taking a vitamin pill for them," says Sasha Kodet, education director for the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Carnivorous plants grow in nutrient-poor conditions. While many are from out of state, some are native to Texas: Pale Pitcher plants, Small Butterworts and Sundews.  

Studies show more plants might be turning carnivorous. 

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Credit Ann Choi for KUT News
The Pitcher Plant lures insects and at times small mammals into a pool of digestive enzymes.

"It’s not something that one individual plant would all of a sudden change and become meat-eating. But they are some plants that are evolving into that state. We call them murderous plants," Kodet says. She adds that plants turning carnivorous are an adaptation that allows them to survive in extreme conditions.

"The natural ecosystem is struggling," she says. "We really encourage people to plant native plants or plants that are adaptive to our climate so you are not wasting water on plants that otherwise wouldn't do as well here."

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Credit Ann Choi for KUT News
Some types of Drosera (or Sundew, left) and Dionaea (Venus Flytrap) are native to Texas soil.

The exhibition featuring plants, installations and giant sculptures of carnivorous plants, will be run through Dec 1 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

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