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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/424

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420
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

they are the very ones least likely to have ever got up the slippery zone. Wet and exhausted, they fall again into the water, where they soon drown and yield up the substances of the body to be absorbed by fine hairs lining the bottom of the cup, and given over to the nourishment of their passive captor.

Some of the southern species of pitcher-plant have leaves standing erect as much as two or three feet in height and furnished with a lid-like

PSM V65 D424 Leaves of the purple pitcher plant.png

Fig. 3. Leaves of the Purple Pitcher-plant. The one at the left is cut in half to show the interior, with the downpointing hairs at the top, the slippery zone (betrayed by the highlight), the absorbing hairs at the bottom, and the dark mass of insect remains.

covering, not indeed a trap-door to shut down over the mouth, but serving to keep the rain from completely filling the pitchers and breaking them down with its weight, a provision which the purple pitcher-plant does not miss because of the prostrate position natural to its leaves. In other species the leaf is furnished with a hood arched over the mouth so as almost to conceal it, brightly colored with yellow or red, or marked with translucent spots. In the Californian pitcher-plant (Darlingtonia), a rare and local species, the leaf is hooded and the entrance small, hut accompanied by a hanging pro-