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

Q: Carnivorous plants of the oceans--any marine carnivores?

A: This is very easy to answer! None!

Marine environments are very challenging for vascular plants. While some oceanic algae such as kelp can become very large, none are known to be carnivorous.

The ocean covers most of the world (albeit much of it is pelagic), so I carefully chose the phrasing "known to be carnivorous." Will the answer be different in 2, 5, or 20 years, as science continues to reveal more to us about the life on our planet?

While to extremely salty waters of marine environments apparently preclude carnivorous plants, the carnivorous bladderwort Utricularia benjaminiana can survive in moderately brackish waters.

Lowland Nepenthes are sometimes found at the water's edge, but this is not the same as it being a marine species. By the same token, vast regions of carnivorous habitat in the southeastern USA are occasionally submerged by ocean water during hurricanes.

Page citations: Rice, B.A. 2006a; Taylor, P. 1989; personal observation.

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Revised: April 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005