Venus’ Fly Trap – Dionaea muscipula

Overall At-Risk Score: 61

Latin Name:

Dionaea muscipula (Ellis)¹

Common Name:

Venus Flytrap;

Family:

Droseraceae (Sundew Family)²

Geographic Region:

D. muscipula has a very small native range, just a handful of counties on the coast of North Carolina⁵ and South Carolina. The species has been introduced to NJ, DE, FL.

Habitat:

Venus Flytraps are specialized for life in low nutrient, permanently wet soils. This allows them to live in inhospitable seepage bogs and marshy pine savannahs.

Lifespan:

Perrenial; often short-lived

Reproduction:

D. muscipula extends a short flower stalk, about 4-12 inches tall, in early summer. The flowers are relatively large compared to the size of the plant with white blossoms. The plant’s small black fruits develop and ripen through the peak of summer.

Ability to withstand disturbance and over harvest:

Venus Flytraps are very resilient to natural disturbances, and are actually depend on fire to prevent overcrowding from competition.

Status of Endangered/Threatened(by state):

D. muscipula are listed as vulnerable or species of special concern in their native range:
NC, SC

Part of Plant Used/Active Medicinal Compounds:

Most frequently the entire plant is used to create an extract.

Vulnerability of habitat/changes of habitat quality and availability:

The bogs and wet savannahs that Venus Flytraps rely on are particularly vulnerable to pollution and are difficult to properly manage. Restoring and creating bogs is a long and complicated process, emphasizing how important it is to conserve these rare biomes.

Demand and Relative Acreage Needed to Meet Demand:

Recommendations for industrial and home use:

This plant is at great risk of becoming endangered, and wild harvest should be prohibited. This plant is a popular collector’s plant for home gardeners, and this has created a large commercial market for nursery grown plants.

  1. ITIS Report. Dionaea muscipula.
    https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=22008#null
  2. USDA Plants. Dionaea muscipula.
    https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=dimu4
  3. IUCN Red List. Dionaea muscipula.
    https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/39636/10253384
  4. BONAP. Dionaea muscipula.
    http://bonap.net/MapGallery/County/Dionaea%20muscipula.png
  5. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program. List of Rare Plant Species in North Carolina. 2018. Page 30.
    https://files.nc.gov/dncr-nhp/documents/files/2018_plant_list_final_pdf_-_revised_19_oct_2018.pdf
  6. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species of North Carolina.
    http://www.dnr.sc.gov/species/state.html
  7. Fish and Wildlife Service. Venus Flytrap.
    https://www.fws.gov/southeast/wildlife/plants/venus-flytrap/#habitat-section
  8. W. Shultz et al. Quantification of insect nitrogen utilization by the venus fly trap Dionaea muscipula catching prey with highly variable isotope signatures.
    https://academic.oup.com/jxb/article/52/358/1041/597176