Wanted to make this thread a while ago, but had not time to do it, until today, a really rainy day, but well, it all started when reading a Nepenthes book, that they mentioned Passiflora foetida as a protocarnivorous plant, as reffering to the plant having dew droplets of sticky mucilage at its bracts protecting the flower and fruit. Then I realized I had the plant at home and went to take some pics from it:
Passiflora foetida is a small vine, from its growth habit I expect it is a ground or low bush crawler, but not a tall tree grower. When just 2m high it starts to make flowers and fruits which are really sweet when harvested on bright yellow color.
On difference from the tomatoes, this plant really looks like some sort of drosera when seen from the right angle.
Notice the insects attached to it
Even so, what I see is that only small insects are the ones that get stuck, so the plant has a very big population of big hemiptera suckers, they don't seem to do any damage, neither on them nor on my nepenthes that have some other types living on them. -I have seeds of course if anyone interested-
And talking on the pseudocarnivorous side of the spectrum, there is Aristolochia grandiflora, a really incredible plant. The variety I have flowers profusely with really huge flowers, of about 30-40cm wide and more than 50cm long. The genera is known from its rotten flesh scent, and indeed they have it, but contrary to what may have been heard, at an open space, you may not smell it unless directly besides the flowers or breathing their smell directly, even so, it is not disgusting.
Anyways, what I recently did, since I have now collected seeds, I started disecting a flower to see what could be inside of it, here I show you guys:
At the moment you open the upper compartment, a hoard of all sizes of flies lifts off, some are left behind, but eventually fly off, none were dead, just trapped.
On a closer look, you see all this compartment covered on what seems to be millions of stamens charged with pollen.
And at the very tip of the space, there is the stigma, waiting for the insects to pollinate it.
What kept the insects inside? well, a series of 2 defenses, the first one, a really small orifice by which the insects had to go through, which makes it a darker place than the upper compartment and so the flies do not go down easily.
And then, below the orifice, and all its way up there is a channel lined up by inward pointing hairs that try to prevent insects from going back on the wrong direction.
And here a complete view of the system. -as I mentioned, I also have seeds from this one-
I've been looking into getting P. foetida, passion flowers are one of my other interests. It's not the only plant with sticky bracts around the flowers, of course. I also have Aristolochias as well, A. gigantea and A. cymbifera Gonzaga, and working on a few other seeds...
I'll be keeping the cymbifera, that's a plant, not seeds, at the moment. I've got another place I have in mind for getting the P. foetida, but I would have to make space first before I could bring anything new in.