The Perfect Adaptation for New World Plants
Rainforest pitcher plants are the perfect tropical gardening addition for any climate. The beauty of these plants is the way they absorb large amounts of water for rapid transport to the leaves, which are the primary food source for these plants. They are highly adaptable and can be used for both home and commercial gardens. We will discuss a few of the more common pitcher plant adaptations below:
As mentioned above, many species of this evergreen family have large “eared” leaves that serve as doors for the tiny underground storage organs. This allows the rainforest trees to obtain nitrogen and phosphorus from the ground and exchange it to their leaves. The roots take up carbon dioxide and transport it to the uppermost leaves where it is available to support the tree. These two processes keep the rainforest trees healthy.
As mentioned earlier, many species of these evergreen plants are grass adapts. They tend to grow in dense clumps with tightly packed leaves which can trap moisture and serve as excellent greenhouses for the root systems. However, there are some subspecies of this family that are grasses with alternate leaves. These subspecies are known as alternate grasses. Some of these grass adaptations actually allow you to use them as a cover crop.
Some rainforest plants are basically grasses that grow in habitats with a high concentration of sunlight. This means that they have to absorb a lot of sunlight to obtain enough nutrients for blooming. One subspecies of this family, the Rubber Toeplant, requires almost 12 hours of direct sunlight per day. It is rare to find plants that require only two hours or less of sunlight.
Of course there are other plant adaptations to the rainforests. For example, there are certain palms that are uniquely adapted to growing on bare hillsides. These palms have large and hardy leaves that can tolerate alkalinity levels that are typically lower than those needed by rainforest plants. Most of us do not even need alkaline levels to survive. If we do not have an alkaline environment around us, we will simply starve.
Some birds actually prefer the rainforests for their home. In fact, the smallest songbirds do not eat on trees but on blossoms. The same is true for all of the flora adaptations of the rainforests. As plants are evolving to better handle varying nutrient levels and to tolerate shade, they will often be found growing in the tops of trees. Their roots will penetrate the lower levels of the tree where they will feed on the leaves and produce sugars and starches for the plant to utilize.
Flowering plants also have a variety of rainforest flora adaptations. Some of these are unique to a single species. For example, the pinkish purple Drosera berry comes from the bark of a tree that is only found in the Amazon. Other drip tips come from a wide range of trees including eucalyptus trees, acacia trees, and palm trees.
Rainforest plants also have the ability to secrete sugars into the air which is the source of much of their food. Many birds find this sugary liquid tasty. This is the source of nectar for many birds as well as insects. And some of these plants actually serve as a type of mosquito trap as they attract mosquitoes to land right within their boundaries. These are just a few of the many traits of the rainforest flora.
One of the most interesting and dramatic of these adaptations is seen in the pitcher plants. A pitcher plant is a type of flowering vine or even flower that usually grows up as tall as five feet. The blooms that occur are quite spectacular and can result in hundreds of tiny blooms which are all designed to secrete sweet juices.
In the wild there are many different types of flowers that can be found on a variety of plants. But there are not always flowers in that order. Sometimes different plants will be adapted to a certain type of habitat and then grow from there. For example, if a plant is accustomed to warm weather, it may grow well in the shade as well as under a tree where it can get the sunlight it needs to grow properly. A shady place would be a wetland. That’s where it gets its nutrients from and where it can survive in a variety of temperatures and conditions.
There are a few other plants that are so well adapted to their environment and the conditions of a particular place that they are considered to be true native plants. One of these plants is the Rainforest pitcher plant. This is such a common plant that you will be hard pressed to find someone who has never seen one. These plants usually grow in moist soil and they thrive with a healthy soil that is slightly acidic in nature.