January 10, 2012

Meat-Eating Plant Traps Victims Underground

Sara Reardon, Science Now

Josh Grosse/Wiki Commons

Patches of white sand dot the Campos Rupestres savanna in Brazil's central highlands. One of the strangest plants that thrives in these tracts of nutrient-poor soil is a spiny, purple-flowered genus called Philcoxia, which inexplicably grows with its leaves buried underground. Researchers have now discovered why: The leaves are a snare for tiny worms that the plant absorbs and eats.

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TAGGED: Worms, Carnivorous Plant