The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 12

Q: How do carnivorous plants reproduce?

U. inflata
U. inflata

false vivipary D. intermedia
False vivipary in
D. intermedia

A: I would have thought the last question took care of this, but apparently (gauging by the e-mails) it has not. So let me be very explicit.

Carnivorous plants, just like other flowering plants, reproduce either by seed (sexually) or by vegetative (asexual) means. See the yellow flowers on this page? Those are plants making flowers so they can make seed. They are reproducing sexually. Plants make seeds make plants.

Mature plants often divide asexually. Some plants do this by producing special shoots, a stem underground or just above the ground. A new plant develops at the tip, and soon this is a completely separate plant. Other plants divide vegetatively when a clump with many roots and many stems separates because the connecting tissue near the middle of the clump dies. What was once one large plant becomes several smaller plants. This is normal plant stuff--nothing mysterious.

Occasionally, some carnivorous plants produce plantlets on their flower stalks. This strange behavior is called "false vivipary" by those botanists who are nerdy enough to be able to rattle off the difference between "pubescent" and "puberulent."

These are just a few of the ways that plants can multiply. Get a good book on botany to learn about others.

Page citations: Bell, A.D. 1991; personal observation.

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Revised: 2018
©Barry Rice, 2018