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Arts & Culture

Man-Eating Plants Take Over Golden Gate Park’s Conservatory of Flowers

By R. Del Rosario
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CHOMP! Pitcher Plant (credit: R. Del Rosario/CBS Local)

CHOMP! Pitcher Plant (credit: R. Del Rosario/CBS Local)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – This weekend, a popular exhibit makes its return to the historic Conservatory of Flowers. This unique exhibit transforms the Conservatory into a swampy paradise and features carnivorous meat eating plants! “CHOMP! They Came from the Swamp” makes its debut starting Friday, April 11 and runs through October 19, 2014.

CHOMP! SLIDESHOW:

It may look like a scene from “Little Shop of Horrors,” but don’t expect to encounter a huge carnivorous man-eating plant named Audrey II. Located inside the Special Exhibits Gallery at the Conservatory of Flowers, visitors of “CHOMP!” get to see a bug’s eye view of many of the carnivorous species of plants. Visitors get to learn how these plants survive in the harshest of locations. Surprisingly, some species are from North America. Visitors will also find out how these beautiful and exotic species of plants have adapted to attract, capture, and eat their prey. As well as how they have perfected and honed their hunting skills.

As part of the exhibit, the famous Dionaea muscipula, more commonly known as the “Venus Fly Trap” is prominently featured. Visitors may get a chance to see a Venus fly trap in action as it snares its prey. Feeding times, however, are not posted. Also showcased are the various forms of “pitcher plants” (Sarracenia and Nepenthes). Unlike the dionaea, some pitcher plants devour their prey by enticing insects at the top of a slippery rim. As the insect step on the rim, they fall into the pitcher plant’s deep cavity and is finally digested. Enlarged versions of several species are featured to help educate visitors of what it may be like to be the unfortunate victim of some of these hungry carnivores.

The Conservatory of Flowers is open Tuesday through Sundays from 10:00am to 4:30pm. Mondays and most holidays the Conservatory is closed. More information is available on their website, www.conservatoryofflowers.org.

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