Fall prey to some of the plant kingdom’s most alluring and murderous creations this spring as the carnivores return to the Conservatory of Flowers in a new exhibit, CHOMP! They Came from the Swamp. The Special Exhibits Gallery will be transformed into a swampy paradise for hundreds of meat-eating plants. Visitors get a bug’s eye view of a few of these peckish plants to learn why these plants have adapted to attract, capture, and eat prey, as well as how they have perfected and honed their hunting skills.
The extraordinary beauty and diversity of species on display will dazzle even the most squeamish. The natural born killers include the Venus flytrap (Dionaea), equipped with highly sensitive hairs that detect the moment when a “meal” has landed in its clutches; the pitcher plants (Sarracenia and Nepenthes), with a deceptive beauty that is often the last thing insects see as they plummet to their deaths, drown, and are consumed; the sticky sundew (Drosera), with leaves covered in mucusy tentacles that slowly wrap over prey; and the seemingly harmless looking butterwort (Pinguicula), its gluey leaves, however, often covered in small insect corpses.
Large models of several species throughout the exhibit also give visitors a taste of what it might be like to be a tiny insect in a world of towering meat eaters waiting for their next meal.