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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/429

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425
SOME PLANTS WHICH ENTRAP INSECTS.

(his subject. Our commonest sun-dew in the eastern Tinted States (Drosera rotundifolia) is a delicate little plant without stem—a mere rosette of long-stalked Leaves with rounded blades. Bristling from the upper surface of the leaf stand thirty or forty stout hairs nearly as long as the diameter of the Leaf. At the end of each hair is a swollen gland surrounded by a globule of viscid jelly, the whole scarcely as large as a pinhead. There are few more beautiful objects in the

PSM V65 D429 East indian pitcher plant.png

Fig. 8. The East Indian Pitcher-plant.

plant world than a leaf of the sun-dew with its clear beads of jelly flashing in the sunlight against a rich setting of green and red. This splendid sight lures the small gnat or fly into contact with one or more of the beads and gives the jelly a tenacious hold on some particular leg or wing. The contact causes a disturbance to be set up in the leaf which brings the other hairs to bend towards the ones which have secured prey. If the insect caught is a minute one only a few of the hairs will be aggregated in this manner, but if a larger