(Plate XXXII.)








Wilmington, N. C.

Time of Bloom


Flowers; growing on a scape in a flat-topped umbel. Calyx: of five sepals. Corolla: of five, obcordale petals. Stamens: fifteen. Pistil; one; stigma, fringed and lobed. Leaves: long and narrow; terminated by a bristly bordered trap; green or crimson inside.

Even the flowers must crane their necks and gaze in wonder at the uncanny actions of the Venus's fly-trap: a creature of most cunning devices. The trap-like appendage that terminates each leaf is set, so to speak, when the sun shines. Its brilliant lining piques the curiosity of small insects, which, unconscious of the wise maxim, to look with one's eyes and not with one's fingers, attempt to investigate for themselves. No sooner does one arrive and brush against the bristles that line the edge of the trap, than the latter closes and crushes the life out of the intruder. In adroitness it can well vie with the spider. The poor guileless fly is then prepared for digestion by a secretion from minute glands that line the inner surface of the leaves. His end is in assimilation and affording nourishment to the plant.

Should the fly by any chance effect an escape, the trap would then innocently open and again await its opportunity.