Field of Science

Pitcher Plant Predator Micro Terrarium

Who wouldn't want one of these?  Hey, kids let's grow a pitcher plant predator!  TPP discovered an entire display of "micro -terraria", basically a plastic egg with a jiffy 5 (? smaller than a jiffy 7) inside and a tiny packet of seeds (2 and a third doubtful one).  Well, for under $3 why not try this out for fun?  Now the materials here are all of 30 cents worth, so clearly a lot of the cost is in the marketing, a handsome, dramatic display in one of those dreadful hobby shops (TPP had a print to frame.) where kids must be regularly placated to deal with the boredom.  The instructions say that this is indeed a Sarracenia, a pitcher plant, probably a hybrid.  After hydrating the jiffy 5, planting the seeds, and assembling the micro-terrarium, all of 10 mins of intense fun, the whole thing was placed in a fridge for a 6 week period of vernalization, a cold treatment to promote germination.  Yeah, the kids will certainly get a thrill out of this item; imagine their excitement as they check out their micro-terrarium week after week and see that nothing whatever is happening.  Heck, TPP has lost interest and it's only been 4 weeks, and you think what the heck is that red egg thingy?  Even forgot taking the picture of the packaging.   Wonder how long a pitcher plant seedling will take to out grow its micro-terrarium?  Sure hope my plant has a nice big red tongue like that so it can be watched eating bugs alive!  Okay, kids, TPP hates to burst your balloon, but this trap doesn't move, but watching a fly drown is mighty exciting stuff, just like the rest of the botany.  You do have to wonder how much interest this type of hype promotes?  Ah, professional curiosity is a weakness.

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