My visit to Kaas had everything that a good trip should have – I saw a surreal land, some beautiful and unique flowers, ticked another to do place from my list, met some amazing people and saw my first 2 varieties of insectivorous flowers. As a kid I had always read about insectivorous flowers but had never seen one and was always fascinated by them. In fact when I finally did see them in Kaas, I just couldn’t believe that these seemingly innocent flowers can actually trap an insect and eat it. Since seeing these flowers was an important part of my list, I kept this topic for my last post on Kaas.
- Utricularia / Seeta’s Tears – This is a herb that is abundantly found all over Kaas in August. It has tiny flowers that have a single blue petal and a teardrop shaped mark in the centre. According to a local folk lore, when Seeta was abducted by Ravana they flew across this plateau and a few of Seeta’s tear drops fell on these flowers. Hence they are also called Seeta’s tears. However these flowers are insectivorous and eat micro insects. The stem and roots have micro pores which open in stomachs or bladder warts lined with cilia. These are real vacuum driven traps that suck in minute prey such as protozoa and rotifiers (swimming in the water saturated soil) that get trapped in its slimy secretions.
- Drosera indica – This is a plant that is native to Kaas and flowers in September. This plant has tentacle like leaves with spiky hair, that is lined with shiny dewdrops and pink and violet flowers. Insects sit on the leaves and get caught in the sticky discharge that they mistake for dew. They are then clasped by the tentacles on the leaves and slowly digested.
Interesting, isn’t it? While my trip and blog journey for Kaas has come to an end, this shall always remain one of those places that hold a special place in my visited list. And I would urge all of you to make an effort and visit this nature’s gift to us at least once.