TRAP TYPE: Flypaper
The genus Byblis is currently thought to contain five species
(B. aquatica, B. filifolia,
B. gigantea, B. liniflora
and B. rorida).
Byblis is native to Australia and typically is a desert plant. Yet
it resembles our sundew, Drosera. It has sticky hairs that trap insects when
they are fooled into thinking that the glandular secretions are drops of nectar.
But Byblis differs from the sundew because its hairs do not curl around the
Byblis gigantea grows in southwestern Australia. It's a perennial
plant that likes areas of acid sand that dry out in summertime. Often
not a typical bog plant, it can be found in shrubby areas as well as open
areas of white sand.
Byblis gigantea can grow in dense groupings. Its narrow leaves
are covered on all surfaces by sticky hairs that trap insects. Thus, any
insect passing through such a mass of leaves is likely to be trapped.
Sticky hairs do not change position once the insect is caught. The insect
is gradually digested where it landed.
The leaves as well as the outer floral structures (sepals) of the flowers
of Byblis gigantea are densely covered with sticky hairs. The
flowers of Byblis are red-purple, and are probably attractive to a kind
The flowers of Byblis gigantea look symetrical at first glance.
However, we see that the style (white) and the stamens (yellow) curve
to use side of the flower. This curvature provides an approach pattern
for a bee, orienting it so that it will get showered with pollen or deposit
the pollen on the tip of the style.
In a sectional view, we se the stamens and the style curving in different directions. The wide white stamen bases are curved and are responsible for the way that the stamens are arranged with relations to an incoming insect.
The stamens of Byblis gigantea don't open by slits. Rather, they have
flaring holes at their tips. Byblis is one of a few flowering plants that
have what is known as buzz pollination. In this process, the insects of
an insect beat at frequencies that set the stamens in motion. As the stamens
vibrate, the pollen grains shake out and dust the surfaces of the insect
and catch on its hairs.