We have read of the vegetable snake of Africa, and the water-spider flower in Persia; we have seen a pea grow up with wings, which might easily be mistaken for those of a dragon-fly, but one of the most ingenious fly-traps in the world is a plant which grows in our shaking deep marshes; it has a small fibrous root; it has no leaves; the stalk is about three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, is one foot high, and is surmounted with a flower; it is furnished with a bag of a peculiar form, and something like a purse at the throat. The mouth is lined with hairs, which are the watchers for prey and the sentinels to the vegetable nerves of the plant; they are very numerous and powerful, and act at once upon the throat of the bagj which has a thick cartilage, like an india rubber band. No sooner does a fly enter this bag, than, like the sensitive plant, it contracts, closes upon the fly, and makes it a prisoner within its vegetable crushing folds. In this manner the plant supplies itself with food, and on cutting one open with a knife, the bottom of the bag will be found stuffed with the skulls and'limbs of wa- ter flies, reminding a person of some cannibal's cave. How wonderful are all the works of the Almighty ; every seed bringeth forth after its kind, and with all its special adaptations.
This article was originally published with the title "The Plant Fly Trap"