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.
TAGGED: worms, carnivorous plant