On Sat, Feb. 10th, 2018, Darwin’s Atelier and the New England Carnivorous Plant Society were invited to exhibit carnivorous plants at the special event, “I Heart Science” at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge Massachusetts, USA.
We brought a whole circus of carnivorous plants! Nepenthes (tropical pitcher plant), Heliamphora (South American pitcher plant), Drosera (Sundew), Cephalotus (Australian pitcher plant), Aldrovanda (waterwheel plant), Utricularia (bladderwort), Pinguicula (butterwort), Genlisea (corkscrew plant), Sarracenia (North American pitcher plant), and of course, Dionaea (Venus Flytrap)!
Lots of family and kids showed up and were very enthusiastic about our plants! Some kids, even moms and dads, just couldn’t get enough of them! Kadeem Gilbert (one of the NECPS members, also a PhD candidate at Harvard University) taught about the convergent evolution of the pitcher plants. He explained to visitors how genetically very different plants that grow in different parts of the world may evolve to have similar morphological features such as pitchers to trap insects. The Sarracenia family grows in North America, Nepenthes mainly grows in tropical Asia, and the Cephalotus family only grows in Southwestern part of Australia. They are genetically unrelated, and grow in very different parts of the world, but all evolved independently to develop pitchers to attract, capture and digest prey.
What a fun and exciting day it was! Thanks to all the visitors who stopped by, and to HMNH for inviting us.