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

Q: Why is my plant making a flower stalk with baby plants on it?

Dionaea
False vivipary
No one really knows.

This abnormal behavior is called "false vivipary", and is occasionally demonstrated by many types of plants. In carnivorous plants, I've seen it on Venus flytraps many times, but also in sundews (Drosera).

It is easy to understand how this happens. All the parts of a flower (petals, pistils, etc.) are derived from highly modified leaves. So you can imagine that some hormonal mistake could somehow induce a plant to create normal leaves on a flower stalk instead of the modified ones. And this could then lead the the production of entire plantlets.

Regardless of the explanation, it can be really neat to see a plant with a big flower stalk, and having little plants on the flower stalk instead of flowers.

My recommendation is to let such plantlets develop as much as possible. Then, as the flower stalk looks like it will develop no further, chop the stalk into sections so you can bury the plantlets in soil, as if they were regular plants. Put the pots in baggies under bright light, and baby them as if they were conventional cuttings. With luck, you'll be able to root them!

Page citations: personal observation.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005