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Carnivorous plants fascinating; it's important to protect them

Posted: Monday, July 07, 2003

As a carnivorous plant enthusiast (currently growing over 100 different species from all over the world), I was thrilled to see your article on the Kenai's carnivorous flora. However, I did notice a few inaccuracies.

First of all, the Kenai Peninsula (and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge) are home to seven species of carnivorous plant, not three. They are divided into the three genera you described Butterwort (Pinguicula), Sundew (Drosera) and Bladderwort ( Utricularia). Second, one of the Butterworts (P. vulgaris) is as you described, but the other (P. villosa, which is more common) is less than an inch from leaf tip to leaf tip and grows all over the Kenai not just at higher elevations.

I've spent the past five years traveling Alaska and photographing and studying the native carnivorous plants. I've found every species in the wild many times and found every species on the Kenai Peninsula. These plants are fascinating and I'd highly recommend anyone who is interested purchase a copy of "The Savage Garden" by Peter D' Amato, or surf to the Carnivorous Plant FAQ online at http://sarracenia.com/faq.html.

It's important that people learn about our wild carnivorous plants now and learn how to protect them. They are increasingly rare (and sometimes endangered) in the Lower 48 due to habitat destruction and field collection. Many people I talk to through the International Carnivorous Plant Society have never seen a carnivorous plant in the wild and probably never will because there just aren't enough wild populations left.

I'd hate to see that happen to Alaska as well.

Thanks for recognizing these bug-eating beauties.

Bonnie Dodds

Kasilof

Member of the International Carnivorous Plant Society



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