The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: What are the kingdom, phylum, and class designations for carnivorous plants?

Utricularia dichotoma
Utricularia dichotoma
A: All carnivorous plants are (of course) in the "Kingdom" called Plantae.

The botanical subdivision of Kingdom is "Division" (no, not "Phylum"--that is a zoological term). All carnivorous plants are in the division called Anthophyta. This division is that of the angiosperms, or flowering plants.

The next subdivision is called "Class." Nearly all carnivorous plants are in the class called Dicotyledones. A few bromeliads are in the class Monocotyledones. Any botany textbook will tell you about the differences between dicots and monocots. They can be recognized by the number of floral parts, type of leaf venation, and the number of seed leaves (cotyledons) produced upon germination.

The next four levels of subdivision are "Order," "Family," "Genus," and "Species." Since carnivorous plants evolved several times, they are not all in the same plant Family. On the next FAQ entry I have this information summarized.

By the way, finer-level subdivisions such as subspecies, variety, and form, are used in carnivorous plants. However, the usage is not consistent for all genera. For example, subspecific categories are not widely used in the genus Utricularia, while it is commonly applied in the genus Sarracenia.

Page citations: Greuter, et al. 2000; Raven, et al. 1981; Rice, B.A. 2006a.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005