|MadSci Network: Botany|
Venus flytrap is autotrophic because it is photosynthetic and therefore gets its energy from light. It is classified as a carnivorous plant but the insects or small animals it digests provide it mainly inorganic mineral nutrients, especially nitrogen, rather than energy. Venus flytrap is native to North Carolina and grows in bogs. Bog soils are low in many essential mineral nutrients, particularly nitrogen, which explains why it evolved a carnivorous habit. Venus flytraps do not absolutely need to trap insects to survive, but it can be very beneficial for them in their natural habitat because it is mineral nutrient deficient. People who grow venus flytraps for sale or as a hobby usually supply them with some fertilizer. Not all flowering plants are autotrophic. There are many plant species that are heterotrophic, which was recently discussed in detail on the Mad Scientist Network (see first reference). Heterotrophic plants can be either parasitic or myco-heterophytes. Many biology teachers try to avoid the term food when defining autotrophs because heterotrophs require food, not autotrophs. Plants are food for other heterotrophs but it gets somewhat confusing when books say a plant makes its own food. Autotrophs can be defined as organisms that obtain their energy from light or inorganic chemicals. Heterotrophs obtain their energy from other organisms. Venus flytrap classification: Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Anthophyta or Magnoliophyta (flowering plants or angiosperms) Class: Dicotyledonae or Magnoliopsida (dicots) Order: Nepenthales Family: Droseraceae Genus: Dionea or Dionaea Species: Dionea muscipula (Note that muscipula is termed the specific epithet, not the species) Search google.com for many websites on venus flytrap. References Re: Are there any plants that do not produce/release oxygen? Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledonae Nepenthales Droseraceae Dionea muscipula
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