A new killer in Kerala gardens is gaining acceptance among people

A new killer in Kerala gardens is gaining acceptance among people

  • 22 Mar 2018
  • Nikhil
  • Features

Plants that eat mosquitoes, bugs, rats and rodents are the new trend in Kerala gardens

Have you heard about plants that eat bugs, mosquitoes and even rats and rodents? At least few of you might be familiar with such plants generally known as ‘Carnivorous plants’ through the science text book pages during our primary school classes. But did you think them to be myths of the past or that they did not exist in India? Then it’s high time you become aware about carnivorous plants because they are selling hot in India, especially in our very own God’s Own Country – Kerala.
Nepenthes khasiana also known as ‘Monkey Cup’ and ‘Pitcher Plant’ is the only variety seen in India. This endangered species usually grows in Khasi and Meghalaya. Nepenthes are climbers that often grow several metres in length and transforms into a tube-shaped trap which produces a fluid that will attract insects and trap them. Some of the mind-blowing facts about this natural wonder will leave you awestruck.

No fertilisers as insects are their nutrients

Carnivorous plants don’t need fertilisers to grow as they receive some or most of the nutrients from the insects they trap. If you are in doubt, provide some fertilizers and you will see  the plants eventually become lazy and stop trapping insects.  Fertilisers prevent plants from growing tubes to trap the insects because they already received abundant nutrients from fertilisers so. 

A colourful bait

Carnivorous plants grow a pouch like structure with which they trap the insects. These lids are usually colourful in order to attract the prey. Some carnivorous plants also turn into blue fluorescent colours to attract the prey. They also have sweet-smelling nectar to draw insects.

A cure for diseases

The tribes of the north-eastern part of India use the enzyme of these non-vegetarian plants for treating various diseases like cataract, night blindness, stomach troubles, diabetes, gynaecological problems and even arthritis and Rheumatic diseases.

Doesn’t grow on soil

Carnivorous plants don’t grow on soil but need ample water and light to sprout. They cannot withstand high temperature and that is one of the reasons why it is rare in Kerala. 

Kerala exports carnivorous plants to other countries

During recent times Kerala has been in the list of exporting carnivorous plants to other countries. Wilson Vargehese from Kozhikode, who had made 23 varieties of nepenthes at his home terrace –Vinay Gardens through cross-pollination for the first time in India, exports these plants online. 

Plant lovers in Kerala thus intend to grow this plant in hopes of it being a relief to the mosquito menace, especially in cities like Kochi. 

Text Credits: Lakshmi Priya                 Image Source: http://www.bbc.com

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