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Author Topic: Carnivorous ?? plant ID  (Read 3022 times)

Rafa

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Carnivorous ?? plant ID
« on: February 28, 2007, 09:46:27 PM »
Hello,

Could you please Id this carnivorous  ? plant?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 09:44:20 PM by Maggi Young »

Maggi Young

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Re: Carnivorous plant ID
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 09:55:42 PM »
In English, Rafa, this is a "catchfly" plant. This is a form of Silene, but which one?  It looks very like the red flowered Silene plankii which comes from America but as yours is more pink and is, I assume. from Spain....?
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Rafa

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Re: Carnivorous plant ID
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 09:58:47 PM »
Many thanks Maggi, you are right, It's a Silene. Very little plant 4cm and flower 1mm. It's from Malaga.


Maggi Young

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Re: Carnivorous plant ID
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 10:07:48 PM »
Oh, my, it is very tiny, I thought that it would be about 20-30cms at least, and flowers 2cms! This is definitely new to me, I thought most of the smaller Silene were no smaller than 10cms., apart from cushions like Silene acaulis. But this plant has such a large calyx.
The little plant is certainly living up to its name 'catchfly' even if it is so small. A good worker!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 10:27:53 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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David Shaw

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Re: Carnivorous plant ID
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2007, 09:05:32 AM »
Sounds like a useful plant for the greenhouse bench?
David Shaw, Forres, Moray, Scotland

Carlo

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Re: Carnivorous plant ID
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2007, 02:37:07 PM »
Well, I was waiting for someone else to jump in on this, but I'll go ahead anyway. Despite Silene's predilection for trapping small insects in the viscous secretions along it's flower stems, I'm not certain that it's ever been formally investigated as a "carnivorous" plant. In order to be so classed, it ought to be shown that it makes use of the "prey" that it captures, e.g. for nutrients.

Ruminations on the adaptive significance of such a trapping mechanism aside (and old sources assumed it was carnivorous because it trapped), unless it is revealed that the insects provide sustenance, it's best to stick to "catch-fly" rather than concluding the plant is a carnivore.

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Anthony Darby

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Re: Carnivorous plant ID
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2007, 03:09:24 PM »
It must serve to reduce attack by small sucking insects such as aphids?
Anthony Darby, Auckland, New Zealand.
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KentGardener

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Re: Carnivorous plant ID
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2007, 06:03:07 PM »
Carlo - thanks for stepping in - this has been playing on my mind all day - I have no reference book listing Silene as a 'carnivorous' plant.  My main hobby was carnivorous plants for about 10 years and I never saw this in any of the collections I visited.

As far as I know Silene just trap their prey but do not use it for food, so cannot really by classed as Carnivorous. 

John
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 07:09:13 PM by KentGardener »
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rob krejzl

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Re: Carnivorous ?? plant ID
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2007, 03:26:54 AM »
I thought it was a mechanism to avoid losing nectar to non-target pollinators.
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