Carnivorous plants areplants that derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, typically insects and other arthropods. However, carnivorous plants generate energy from photosynthesis. Carnivorous plants have adapted to grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen, such as acidic bogs. Charles Darwin wrote Insectivorous Plants, the first well-known treatise on carnivorous plants, in 1875.
Carnivorous plants can be found on all continents except Antarctica, as well as many Pacific islands. True carnivory is thought to have evolved independently nine times in five different orders of flowering plants, and is represented by more than a dozen genera. This classification includes at least 583 species that attract, trap, and kill prey, absorbing the resulting available nutrients. This number has increased by approximately 3 species per year since the year 2000.
Additionally, over 300 protocarnivorous plant species in several genera show some but not all of these characteristics. A 2020 assessment has found that roughly one fourth are threatened with extinction from human actions.