Growing Carnivorous Byblis, the Rainbow Plant

Flowering Byblis GuehoiI’m sure you’ve heard of carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula, and I have guides for that too here and here!) or pitcher plant (Nepenthes), but you might not have heard of Byblis, the carnivorous rainbow plant.

Byblis is native to Australia, sometimes called the rainbow plant because of the way its sticky, sparkling mucilage-covered leaves and stem can look in the sun. It attracts mosquitos and fruit flies, which die after getting stuck in shimmery glue. They’re then digested by enzymes for nourishment. Byblis also grow pretty purple flowers that close in the evening and last for a few days.

The Latin name “Byblis” itself comes from Greek mythology: Byblis was a woman who fell in love with her twin brother Caunus. There are different versions of her story, but Byblis ultimately gets rejected. Her endless tears lead her to be transformed into a fountain, which sparkles—kind of like the plant’s sparkly goo.

The sticky mucus looks great up close under light 

What I raise in particular are called Byblis guehoi, one of the eight recognized kinds of Byblis. Though they look like sundews (drosera), which are another kind of carnivorous plant with similarly sticky leaves, Byblis are unique and more related to butterworts (pinguiculas).

Byblis can grow pretty big!
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