Pictorial Guide to the Flora of the British Isles

Carnivorous plants

Four types of carnivorous plants in three families occur in the British Isles, each using a different method to trap small animals before digesting them. The nutrients from the animals help these plants to live in very nutrient-poor environments, such as peat bogs and oligotrophic marshes.

Round-leaved sundew / Drosera rotundifolia

Sundews such as Drosera rotundifolia use the sticky hairs on their leaves to catch insects, and curl the leaves up to trap their prey.

Pitcherplant / Sarracenia purpurea

The exotic pitcherplant, Sarracenia purpurea, lures insects into its slippery-sided traps (modified leaf-tips) and drowns its prey in water at their bases.

Common butterwort / Pinguicula vulgaris

Butterworts such as Pinguicula vulgaris trap insects on their sticky leaves.

Common bladderwort / Utricularia vulgaris

Bladderworts such as Utricularia vulgaris trap small aquatic animals in bladder-traps on their submerged leaves.

L-R: Bidens tripartita, Melilotus officinalis, Mimulus guttatus, Thalictrum flavum, Ranunculus peltatus, Anchusa arvensis, Malva alcea, Lolium perenne