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Pitcher Plant

Nepenthes

Native to parts of South East Asia, India, Madagascar and Australia, Nepenthes is a carnivorous plant that generally preys on insects. However, some of the larger species have been known to trap lizards, rats, and even birds.

Sometimes they are called "Monkey Cups" because it was once believed that monkeys drank rainwater from them; however this is not true as the fluids at the bottom of the pitcher are digestive juices that break down organisms as they fall down the slippery sides of the pitcher. The "pitcher" part of this plant is actually the result of a swelling in the midvein of the leaf, and it attracts insects by its vibrant coloration and nectar secretions.

There are about 170 species currently documented worldwide.