Eat or be eaten
Carnivorous and ant plants
Carnivorous plants have specially adapted leaves or other organs that they use to catch insects.
Meise Botanic Garden houses a very diverse collection of carnivorous plants with a focus on Nepenthes and Pinguicula, both consisting of 70 different species. Nepenthes are Asian pitcher plants that often prefer a very specific habitat and climate. Many are rare or endangered. The genus Pinguicula, or butterwort, is generally poorly represented in botanical gardens. In addition to the European species, the Botanic Garden has 26 different species of Central American representatives of this genus.
Other plants do not capture live animals but instead provide a habitat for them. Ant plants, for example, feature hiding places or swollen stems with a network of corridors that can house an entire colony of ants. In return, the ants protect their home and the plant extracts nutrients from the ants' waste and excrement. The ant plant collection of Meise Botanic Garden mainly includes species from the genera Myrmecodia, Hydnophytum, Lecanopteris, and Dischidia. You can admire them in the Plant Palace, in the 'Tropical Rainforest'.