Bogs can be harsh environments for plant growth, with very acidic soils, or, in some cases, very little soil at all. Carnivorous plants are one of the most interesting groups of flora within a bog. These plants capture their own prey and dissolve the insects they may capture to extract the nutrients they need to live. Even though they may capture prey with attractive scents or sticky pads, these plants still photosynthesize. Pitcher plants and sundews are the best known predatory plants and both can be found in the Sax-Zim Bog.
Pitcher Plants lure prey to the inside of their pitchers (modified leaves) with colorful leaf venation and sweet scents. After the curious fly lands on the pitcher, backward facing hairs make exit difficult. Ultimately the unlucky fly falls to the bottom of the pitcher, where rain water often collects, and is dissolved and absorbed by the plant. These plants can be found near the Welcome Center, in the bog adjacent to the Gray Jay Way, as well as throughout the Sax-Zim Bog.
Sundews are incredibly small carnivorous plants, which take a lot of time to find. Their bright red spines hide surprisingly well in the sphagnum mats, where sundews can often be found. The leaves of sundews have been modified with glands that adhere to unsuspecting prey items. After contact with a potential meal, the leaves slowly curl back toward the base of the plant, which the meal is dissolved and absorbed.