Dionaea muscipula J. Ellis. Phen: May-Jun; Jun-Jul. Hab: Wet pine savannas, sandhill seepages. Dist: E. NC and ne. SC; also introduced outside that native range (including Panhandle FL, Yancey County in the mountains of NC, and s. NJ, where it persists and spreads to varying degrees).
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Other Comments: The shiny black seeds are exposed at the maturity and dehiscence of the capsule. Perhaps the most remarkable species in our flora, Dionaea has become increasingly rare and now receives some protection as a NC Special Concern species and a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species "Appendix 2" species. Although collection and trade as a novelty item have contributed to the decline of Dionaea, its more fundamental problem is that faced by the great majority of Coastal Plain species in our area – destruction of habitat and fire suppression. In the fall-line Sandhills, Dionaea is now restricted to a very few sites on Fort Bragg; in the central Coastal Plain, it is also nearly extirpated. Substantial populations remain only in the Outer Coastal Plain, primarily in Brunswick, Pender, and Onslow counties. Ellis's Latin phrase describing the plant to Linnaeus (quoted in Croom 1837) is worth repeating for its succinctness: "Miraculum naturae! – folia biloba, radicalia, ciliata, sensibilia, conduplicanda, insecta incarcerantia". The colonial governor of North Carolina, Arthur Dobbs, wrote in 1759, "we have a kind of Catch Fly Sensitive which closes upon anything that touches it". Gibson (1991) shows that trap size and prey size are correlated; trap leaves of Dionaea primarily capture insects about 5 mm smaller than the length of the trap. Deliberately introduced and at least somewhat naturalized at other places in the Coastal Plain, notably Apalachicola National Forest, FL.
Synonymy: = Fl4, FNA6, GW2, K1, K3, K4, RAB, S, WH3, Schnell (2002b); = n/a – C, F