Carnivorous Plants in Culture and Media

Carnivorous Plants in Culture and Media

USPS Carnivorous Plant Stamps Uhaul Venus flytrap dinner plate with sundews

Simpsons Venus flytrap costume venus flytrap tattoo venus flytrap

Carnivorous Plants in Culture and Media

Every now and then, it is possible to see carnivorous plants or their likeness as part of our daily lives. White Top Pitcher Plants are sometimes found in dried flower arrangements and can be purchased occasionally in silk flower shops or at florists. Keep an eye out for Carnivorous Plants used as ingredients in cough syrups and lozenges. In 1972 Portmeirion Chinaware of England created a commemorative plate and cookie jar that featured a wonderful picture of a flowering Venus Flytrap and various insects. In 1995, Mott’s, a division of Cadbury Beverages, created a line of boxed-juice containers called "Weird and Wild." Among their illustrated panels could be found pictures and facts about Nepenthes, Cobra Lilies and Venus Flytraps. In 1996, Folkmanis, Inc., produced a "Furry Folks" puppet of a potted Venus Flytrap and fly. One hand could operate the trap while the other animated the black fly. Carl Taylor of Cookeville, TN has produced a Carnivorous Plant theme mouse pad. Rubber stamps of Carnivorous Plants are available from several sources. In 1992 Judy/Instructo, Inc. featured a floor puzzle with Carnivorous Plants. Films and stories that highlight carnivorous plants include "The Little Shop of Horrors," a musical from the 1960s, and John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids. It is also possible to spot Carnivorous Plants in the movies "Mississippi Burning" and "Minority Report." There is a great carnivorous plant sequence in the movie, "Minority Report." Look for an upside down mature Nepenthes ventrata in the movie "Prometheus." "Avatar 2 The Way of Water" shows a brief sequence with Sarracenia leucophylla along a trail. The Netflix Series "Wednesday" shows a greatly enlarged Venus flytrap in episode 2 during a Carnivorous Plant Class. Carnivorous Plants appear on coins. The New Foundland Penny showed a Purple Pitcher Plant on one face from 1938-1947. Nepenthes can be found on several dollar notes. Many countries use Carnivorous Plants on their stamps.

New Foundland Penny with Sarracenia purpurea NewFoundland Penny

 Pennsylvania Liscence Plate (Gary Liska)

Carnivorous Plants were indeed a curiosity when they were first "discovered" by Europeans.  Nations funded elaborate collecting expeditions around the world and returned with fascinating plants and animals.  These were brought into horticulture and popularized in the 1800s by several nurseries including the Veitch Nurseries, Loddiges Nursery, and Curtis's Botanical Gardens. Early sales catalogs were often first scientific publications of many carnivorous plants and were accompanied by beautiful lithographs and chromolithographs. These prints are much sought after by CP enthusiasts and collectors.

N.sanguinea from Paxton's Flower Garden, Vol. 1, Plate 9, 1882  N.sanguinea from Paxton's Flower Garden, Vol. 1, Plate 9, 1882.

Dionaea muscipula from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Vol. 20, Plants 785, 1804. D. muscipula from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Vol. 20, Plate 785, 1804.

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