20160722A.jpgDid you know that the sticky hairs found on the stems of tomato plants are designed to trap small insects? Or that these die and fall to the ground where they are absorbed by the roots of the plant after their decomposition?

That is why scientists have recently described the tomato as being a carnivorous plant. It is, though, just a passive carnivore. The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is an example of active carnivore: its trap reacts to and closes on any insects that visit it.

The potato is also a passive carnivore, as is another cousin, the petunia (all three are members of the Solanaceae). Other passive carnivores includes species of geranium, silene and lychnid.

Now that the sordid past of tomatoes and potatoes is increasing known, the question that remains is… how will vegetarians react to the news? Will they still be willing to eat vegetables that are carnivorous?

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

2 comments on “Tomatoes are Carnivorous

  1. Pingback: The Plant That May Have Driven Vikings Berserk – Laidback Gardener

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