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North Carolina Botanical Garden

By Matt Smith

It's late spring, and the Venus flytraps are blooming in the marshy countryside near the Carolina coast, their white flowers jutting far above the plants' business ends.

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Amy M Jasperson / Flickr

By Clyde Sorenson, Elsa Youngsteadt and Rebecca Irwin

The Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, lives in a tough neighborhood. It only grows in 12 counties in coastal North and South Carolina, in soils that are very nutrient-poor and often waterlogged. To augment these starvation resources, it captures and digests insects and other animal prey.

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