Plants that catch and feed upon animals exert a strange fascination of their own. The mobile tentacles of the Sundews, the snapping lobes of the Venus Fly Trap and the slippery, baited pitfalls of the Pitcher Plants provide the stuff of which science fiction is made. Yet far from being fantasy, these extraordinary organisms are fact, and this book explores in depth the astonishingly subtle manner in which each type of trap entices, catches, and digests its prey.
The author focuses on some fifty species, using photographs, line drawings, and diagrams to illustrate their peculiarities. He takes us from his own climate to the mountains of Borneo, through the bushlands of Australia, to the swamps of the Amazon forest. We find plants whose traps catch only microscopic animals, and others that may trap small reptiles, mammals and even birds.
In addition to its spectacular photographs, other important features are the book's world-wide coverage of carnivorous plants and its comprehensive chapters on cultivation of the various groups.
Carnivorous Plants will appeal to botanists and zoologists and to the numerous enthusiasts who will find a good many of these intriguing plants easy to grow indoors.
"Adrian Slack, a landscape architect... owns one of the world's largest collections of carnivorous plants... Exquisite photographs by Jane Gate supplement the fascinating details of Mr. Slack's text, which includes a section on how to grow carnivorous plants."
- Jane E. Brody, The New York Times
"Adrian Slack's book, Carnivorous Plants, is the best general survey book for a popular audience published to date. The author writes with clarity and an engaging style and successfully presents many interesting details without overwhelming the lay reader. The book contains a detailed section on cultivation, a list of sources, and a helpful glossary. It is written in nontechnical language, insofar as possible, but the professional botanist and horticulturist will also benefit from it."
- Donald E. Schnell, Horticulture
"This book has the most beautiful illustrations of carnivorous plants that I have ever seen."
- Carroll E. Wood, Jr., Curator and Professor of Biology, TheArnold Arboretum of Harvard University