The Carnivorous Plant Society, a registered UK Charity “dedicated to the promotion of carnivorous plants both in the wild and in cultivation, through conservation and education.” Periodically it provides a display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and this was one of those fascinating years.
The carnivorous plants at University of Reading are grown as a means of engaging students and the general public with botany in a way that most plants can’t offer. The venus flytrap has obvious movement while sundews offer a sticky and slimy experience. Towards the end of summer the sound of buzzing flies in the pitcher plants is quite breathtaking.
The display at Chelsea this year aimed to illustrate a variety of different trapping mechanisms and plant types from around the world, including the biggest butterwort species (Pinguicula gigantea), originally from Mexico, and Utricularia reniformis, a giant bladderwort from the Eastern forests of Brazil.
Members of the society, and our MSc Plant Diversity student Kana, spent Saturday setting out the display, checking the plants were in perfect condition and making sure they were accurately labelled.