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Two groups of plants exhibit such intriguing behavior that a century and a half ago they attracted the attention of Charles Darwin. These same plants, the orchids and the carnivorous plants, still fascinate scientists today. In two, one-hour films, ‘Plants Behaving Badly’ reveals a world of deceit and treachery worthy of any fictional thriller.
Part 1: CARNIVOROUS PLANTS Scientists have recently shown that many more plants are carnivorous than we had ever thought. Welcome to the world of killer tomatoes and murderous potatoes. Even the more well-known carnivorous plants – sundews, flytraps, and pitchers – are revealing new behavior.
Part 2: ORCHIDS Darwin’s book ‘On the Origin of Species’ shook the scientific world and far beyond. Yet it was his next book, devoted entirely to orchids, which filled in gaps and clarified his revolutionary ideas. Orchids have an ethereal beauty, whether growing hundreds of feet up in a misty rainforest or along the verges of busy suburban roads. But their exotic flowers are shaped for just one purpose – to seduce pollinators. Many use sex as a lure by impersonating a female bee or wasp.