Nano Plants?

The pitcher plant isn’t very well known or exciting when you compare it to its other carnivorous plant relatives like the Venus flytrap but they are totally awesome and here’s why.

When we look down to the nanoscale, things get wired, not just with the pitcher plant but with almost everything. A gecko can stay upside down on almost any surface because at the nano level the skin on their toes has massive amounts of surface tension thanks to their unique design.

Insects that shimmer bright metallic blues and greens aren’t actually that colour, it’s an optical illusion caused by nanostructures that look like a tree that is designed to reflect that colour. You can even test this if you have a deceased metallic coloured butterfly, simply squirt some water onto their wings and it should change colour and as the water evaporates it will return to its original colour.

pitch plant

So why is the carnivorous pitcher plant so awesome?

When it rains its bucket gets filled with water and stomach acid but more importantly the little ridges on its lip, thanks to their nanostructure become super slippery. So slippery in fact that ants, which have a similar nanostructure to geckos on their feet can’t get a grip and fall into the water trap below to be slowly devoured by the plant.

Ah, nature you are awesome.

Why should you care? Well, some plant leaves have nanostructures that make water bead off them leaving them completely dry and scientists have already figured out how to apply this to almost any surface.

Go Science!

Stay Curious –  C.Costigan


Share This Science News


more insights