The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 12

Q: Carnivorous plants of Antarctica--survivors in the frigid south!

A: Antarctica is such a cold, arid environment that very few plant species can survive there. As far as I know, only two vascular plants occur in Antarctica--the monocot grass Deschampsia antarctica (Poaceae) and the dicot pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae).

If you are not familiar with the term, "vascular plants" are the ones you are familiar with--trees, herbs, and the like, that contain tissues called xylem and phloem that transport fluids and nutrients. All carnivorous plants are vascular plants. Non-vascular plants are organisms such as mosses, liverworts, and green algae.

Perhaps a more interesting question is the identity of the southern-most soccurring species of carnivorous plant. I am not sure, but I think it is probably Drosera uniflora, from Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. That is about 55° S. The other contender for southern distribution might be Pinguicula antarctica.

Page citations: Rice, B.A. 2006a; personal observation.


Revised: 2018
©Barry Rice, 2018