Wild Teasel: carnivorous or murderous plant? A botanical scandal!

Water reservoir at each level of paired stems

These Wild Teasel plants growing near our retention ponds have awesome water reservoirs where pairs of fused leaves extend from its thick stem!

Insects get trapped in the water, but does the plant digest them? No, they are not carnivorous…the reservoirs trap insects & aphids (murderous!), preventing them from devouring the leaves — a form of defense! (Carnivory in teasels was studied extensively by Francis Darwin (son of Charles Darwin).

Looking forward to seeing the beautiful purple thistle-like flowers blossoming soon. The bees love them!

Warmly,
Karen

#nature
#naturejournaling
#naturejournal

2 thoughts on “Wild Teasel: carnivorous or murderous plant? A botanical scandal!

  1. Wow ….. no way! Teasel is one of my favorite plants. I used to collect the prickly “pods” for floral decoration. It’s been several years since my last teasel encounter (south of Ellensburg, WA). Had I know about the fused leaf death traps, maybe I would’ve rescued any bugs still wiggling! Great illustration Karen!

    Like

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