Image : A row of pitcher plant species, Nepenthes khasiana, under normal light (top) and under UV light (bottom), revealing their alluring fluorescent emissions. All photos by Rajani Kurup, Anil John Johnson, Sreethu Sankar and Sabulal Baby.
It’s long been known that carnivorous plants lure their insect prey in a range of ways: irresistible nectars, vivid colors and alluring scents that range from rose to rotten flesh.
But recently, a group of scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute in India discovered a previously hidden means of beckoning among the most ruthless of greenery. Some carnivorous plants, they discovered, lure insects to their death with a fluorescent glow invisible to the human eye.