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Magda Perrett '24 Creates Interactive Exploration of Carnivorous Plants


Alert the young visitors!

venus fly trap

Published April 29, 2024

A good portion of the visitors that come to Lyman stop by the front desk to ask us two very important questions: do we have Venus flytraps, and where in the conservatory can they be found? Usually these inquiries come from our youngest visitors, but people of all ages show an interest. 

As a response to those inquiries, and fueled by a similar interest, Botanic Garden Student Educator (BoGSE) Magda Perrett ’24 worked with Manager of Education Sarah Loomis to create educational materials that delve into this subset of plants. What is a carnivorous plant? And how does it function? These are the questions that Perrett answers through an activity booklet she created as part of her end-of-year BoGSE project.

“Before I started my research I only knew about Venus flytraps,” Perrett said. “But there are hundreds of species of carnivorous plants and five major ways that plants trap and digest their prey.”

The activity booklet, which will be available in Lyman at the beginning of May, includes this information as well as interactive prompts, fun facts, and a very cool carnivorous plant digestion diagram that was illustrated by Aria Martinelli ’24. Because the activity booklet is put together using the famous zine fold, the digestion diagram is found on the inside of the booklet when it is opened up–which means it can double as a poster. 

carnivorous plant diagram

“The most interesting thing I learned from this process was how much adults also like interactive learning,” Perrett said. “While I originally designed this for younger children, I've had so many friends and college aged students who have enjoyed helping me prototype this project. Interactive learning seems to be enjoyable for all ages, no matter the information.”

In addition to the booklet, interpretive material on carnivorous plants will be on display in Warm Temperate House as well as in the outdoor bog by Succulent House. 

“I really hope that people enjoy this project and learn something from it!” Perrett said.

A special thanks to our Greenhouse Horticulturist Dan Babineau who worked with Perrett to grow out the plants for display.

magda perrett
pitcher plant