Thursday, September 28, 2017

Butterflies, blossoms and pitcher plants

Yesterday, I popped into the Conservatory briefly and saw these beauties in the enclosure--

The top picture shows the (slightly blurry) Malachite butterfly, new to the exhibit. Both the wing pattern and color remind me a bit of polished stone. In the bottom shot is the Queen in repose. She's looking a bit like the Viceroy, in terms of size and color, but is actually the same genus as the Monarch. Both the Monarch and Queen caterpillars dine on milkweed, making them toxic to nosh on to potential predators.


Malachite



Queen


Beyond visiting the butterflies, I took a few minutes to look in at the orchid & carnivorous plant exhibits. Here are a few plants that caught my eye--

Groovy pattern on bottom petal


Bananas, not yet ripe. :)

One lone lily in the pond.



Back in the 70s, I think most of us around these parts went through having a Venus Flytrap as a house plant phase. What I didn't realise then was that there were other carnivorous plants out there in the world. The pitcher plant is one such creature. We have two different sized versions at the Conservatory. The wee ones probably only catch insects, but the large one has been known to snare a mouse or two!

Small pitcher plant

Frog/mouse-sized pitcher plant.

There are downward facing interior 'hairs' located in the 'pitcher' that make it virtually impossible for an ensnared critter to make its way back out once in. *cue ghoulish music* Digestive juices break down the food very slowly. If one peeks in, one can often see remains of partially digested lunch. 

6 comments:

  1. I remember the time when we all had Venus Fly-traps. We had small Pitcher Plants too.
    Love the flutterbyes - and the lonely lily.

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    1. Wow, that's cool you had pitcher plants as well. The lonely lily was a pretty sight. I dug the wee bananas. I wonder if we're allowed to pick them when they become ripe?

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  2. Bea, let us know how the bananas taste when they get ripe. I heard of one once that tasted of ice cream. Like to know if they taste different than store bought ones.

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    Replies
    1. I imagine that they might taste, somehow, richer. -haven't had the distinctiveness bred out of 'em.

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  3. Very pretty. Everyone having Venus Flytraps is a bit before my time.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that and ordering sea-monkeys off the back of comic books. :D

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