The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: How many kinds of Venus flytraps are there?

Dionaea
Dionaea 'Red Dragon'

Dionaea
Dionaea 'Cupped Trap'

Dionaea
Dionaea 'Dentate Traps'

Dionaea
Dionaea 'Fused Tooth'

Dionaea
Dionaea 'Wacky Traps'

A: The Venus flytrap is a plant in a monotypic genus. That means there is only one species of Venus flytrap: Dionaea muscipula. So the short answer is that there is only one kind of Venus flytrap.

There is more to this, though. Even though there is but one species of Venus flytrap, horticulturists have developed a number of cultivar Venus flytraps. These are plants which have interesting characters. Some are interesting because they have nicely colored traps. Others have strange leaf forms. Below I have listed all the Venus flytrap cultivars that have been officially named and registered as of the freshness date of this page. Oh, there are lots of other "named" plants out there, like "Burbank's Best", "Paradisea" (or some similar variant spelling), or "Fine-tooth x red", but until these are actually registered as cultivars I won't list them.

If your plant from the store has some other, odd name like "Octopus", "Starfish", "Vampire", or similar drivel, it is just something made up by a bored marketing executive, and has nothing to do with anything other than marketing. (If it convinced you to buy the plant, it served its only purpose.)

Other sections in the FAQ discuss cultivars and cultivar groups in more detail.

Venus flytrap Cultivars
Dionaea 'Alien'
The traps are strongly arched, so that from the side thay are shaped like the head of the monster from the Alien movies.
Dionaea 'B52'
A flytrap with very large traps that I registered.
Dionaea 'Bohemian Garnet'
A half-sized, all-red cultivar with dentate teeth, which propagates quickly.
Dionaea 'Clayton's Red Sunset'
An all-red flytrap with petioles that are always long and skinny, that loses all its leaves during the winter, and that is always entirely red.
Dionaea 'Coquillage'
Thick-edged traps with widely spaced, small marginal spines. The cultivar name means "shell," and the traps do have a somewhat bivalvian appearance.
Dionaea 'Cupped Trap'
The traps are oddly cupped at the tip, and the trap spines are coiled longer in the development process.
Dionaea 'Dentate Traps'
The trap spines are modified into short, toothlike triangles. This is known by various incorrect names like dente, dentate, etc.
Dionaea 'Fused Tooth'
Although this plant looks normal in the spring, later in the season it produces grotequely malformed leaves where the spines are irregularly merged. Very weird.
Dionaea 'Green Dragon'
Often sold as Dionaea 'Red Dragon', the trap margins are green even under intense light. Perhaps a tissue culture mutation of Dionaea 'Red Dragon.'
Dionaea 'Holland Red'
Another red form, I am not sure exactly how this differs from the other red-trap cultivars, especially Dionaea 'Green Dragon'.
Dionaea 'Jaws'
The trap spines are short and pointy, the traps are big. It looks quite sharklike when the lobes have just closed!
Dionaea 'Justina Davis'
A flytrap with completely green traps, not to be confused with traps that are just pale pink or grown in low light.
Dionaea 'Korean Melody Shark'
A plant with thin leaf blades, and a trap with a ragged edge that lackes well-developed spines. Rather like a more-energetic version of 'Wacky Traps.'
Dionaea 'Korrigans'
The trap is fused, abnormally, to the leaf blade (i.e., the little petiole is missing).
Dionaea 'Louchapates' (aka Dionaea 'Noodle Ladle')
The spines are often multiply divided, and spines are also place on the tip of the trap lobes, where other clones do not have them.
Dionaea 'Microdents'
The spines very tiny, but otherwise normally spaced.
Dionaea 'Mirror'
Secondary, traplike lobes occur on the backs of many of the traps.
Dionaea 'Petite Dragon'
This cultivar has the coloration of Dionaea 'Red Dragon' but never gets very large. Also, it has bifurcated flower stalks.
Dionaea 'Red Burgundy'
Another red clone, but supposedly more vigorous in cultivation.
Dionaea 'Red Dragon' (aka Dionaea 'Akai Ryu')
A dark red plant.
Dionaea 'Red Piranha'
This cultivar has the coloration of Dionaea 'Red Dragon' and the marginal spines of Dionaea 'Dentate Traps'.
Dionaea 'Royal Red'
Another red clone, the details of which I do not know. I wonder how this is connected to the whole Australian " Red" controversy of years back.
Dionaea 'Sawtooth'
The trap spines are modified into short, sawtoothed edges.
Dionaea 'Scarlet Bristle'
You guessed it--another red clone. To my eyes, this looks like a 'Red Piranha,' with the addition that the trigger hairs are weirdly mutated into thick bristles.
Dionaea 'Wacky Traps'
The leaves are incompletely developed. This is an extremely slow grower that also has strangely distorted flowers. Known in some circles as "Bart Simpson", but this name has not been established and might even violate some trademark laws.
Dionaea Dentate Traps Group
A cultivar group, and not a cultivar, this includes all the plants with marginal spines modified into toothlike or sawtooth structures.

Page citations: Anfraix, R. 2004; Bily, G. 2010a, 2010b; Blancquaert, D. 2010; Clayton, C. 2004; D'Amato, P. 1998a; Erbacher, M., & Stoeckl, M. 2005; Gagliardo, R. 1996; Jang, G-W., and Yoon, W.H. 2010; Keehn, R. 2010; Quenon, G. 2008; Read, E. 1999; Rice, B.A. 2000, 2006a; Song, L. 2001a; Srba, M. 2007; Stewart, S. 2004; personal observation.

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Revised: July 2011
©Barry Rice, 2005