Flesh-Eating Plants

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember Thy wonders." Psa. 77:1111I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (Psalm 77:11)
Many animals, birds and insects eat plants, but did you know there are some plants that eat insects? How remarkable this is, because plants cannot travel from one place to another to capture their food, and they do not have eyes or ears to help them.
One example of a flesh-eating plant is the sundew that grows in certain swamps. It gets its name from drops of sticky fluid on its leaves that glitter in sunlight like drops of dew. The leaves are also covered with small red hairs. If a fly or bug lands on these hairs, it is trapped by the sticky fluid. Immediately all the hairs near that spot fold in around the insect and hold it captive. The plant then absorbs its prey into its system, and the hairs go back in place to wait for another victim.
Another one is the butterwort which has fleshy leaves that produce a sticky substance. When an insect lands on a leaf, the edges curl in and trap it. The insect dies and is digested by the plant.
The pitcher plant has pitcher-shaped leaves that form a trap for insects. The lower edges of its leaves fold together to form a tube. The top edges are open and allow rain water to collect in the bottom of the tube. The pitcher produces a sweet juice on the inside that attracts insects. It also grows bristly hairs at the top of the pitcher and they all point downward. Once an insect lands in search of the sweet juice, it passes over these hairs pointing downward which prevent it from crawling back out. The insect eventually falls into the water at the bottom and drowns. In time, the plant digests the insect.
One insect we would like to see trapped by this plant is the mosquito. But the female can fly right down into the pitcher, lay her eggs in the liquid, and then fly back out safely, just like a helicopter. After the larvae hatch and grow, the new adult mosquitos escape the same way.
A certain wasp, in some parts of the South, bites a hole in the bottom of the pitcher, allowing the rain water to drain out. Then it crawls through the hole, making its nest inside without harm. How did the wasp learn this trick? Only the Creator God could give it this knowledge.
These unusual plants certainly have no intelligence to figure out ways of capturing food. They are another example of the wonders of God's creation. Only God could provide food for these plants.
We are reminded that the devil also has many traps in which he catches those who are not careful. If we know the Lord Jesus as our Savior and walk close to Him, He is able to protect us from evil. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:5-65Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5‑6)).