Pitcher plant kills by slipperyness

The pitcher plant Heliamphora nutans puts the Sarlacc to shame; this carnivorous plant kills more efficiently and with considerably less effort.

Researchers have been studying the physical properties of the plant and have found that it’s hairs, called trichomes are quite different from most other plants. The hairs on most flora – when they have them – are hydrophobic, causing water to separate and bead up. The tiny hairs on nutans do the exact opposite, facilitating the spread of water into a single sheet and creating a very slippery surface. So slick, that avid climbers such as ants stand no chance against the plant’s water slide of death.

You can see how quickly and completely the trichomes spread the water:

All of which looks considerably easier and more profitable than this…

Nature: 1. George Lucas: 0.


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