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Name: Margaret
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Question:
I have a venus flytrap and wanted to know if the sap produced in the "mouths" of the traps is toxic if an animal were to lick the plant, versus eating the plant.


Replies:
Not toxic -- the sap attracts insects because of its color and smell. Insects trip the "trigger hairs" inside the trap and the trap closes upon them. Once trapped enzymes break down the trapped insect to obtain useable nutrients. Some useful pages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_Flytrap

http://www.botany.org/bsa/misc/carn.html

http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq2000.html

Anthony R. Brach, PhD
Missouri Botanical Garden
c/o Harvard University Herbaria



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