Botanical Paintings of Other Carnivorous Plants

Modern microscopy techniques enable us to capture the shape and inner beauty of the leaf traps of carnivorous plants. These plants have intrigued people for many years. It is fascinating to discover sinister plants which eat animals, when you only expect plants to be food. Collectors and explorers documented animal eating plants over the last few centuries to spread information of newly discovered species and pose questions about how and why these plants captured insects. The John Innes Centre Historical Collection contains a special collection of rare books with botanical paintings and drawings documenting the history of Botany and plant research. These stunning antique prints were found in this archive mostly in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.

Heliamphora nutans Curtis Botanical magazine, plate 7093 (1890). Heliamphora nutans is a carnivorous pitcher plant in the family Sarraceniaceae which grows in marshy areas of Venezuela and Guyana. It has cone shaped leaves with a small lid and traps small flies.
Heliamphora nutans Curtis Botanical magazine, plate 7093 (1890). Heliamphora nutans is a carnivorous pitcher plant in the family Sarraceniaceae which grows in marshy areas of Venezuela and Guyana. It has cone shaped leaves with a small lid and traps small flies.
Darlingtonia californica Curtis Botanical magazine, plate 5920 (1871). Darlingtonia californica is a carnivorous pitcher plant in the family Sarraceniaceae which grows in marshy areas in California and Oregon in America. It is commonly known as the Cobra lily due to its hooded leaves with tongue like appendages at the top of conical leaves which attract and trap flies.