Plants with a bite at Inverewe

Poolewe Primary School pupils inspect some of the Savage Garden plants
Poolewe Primary School pupils inspect some of the Savage Garden plants

Inverewe Garden in Poolewe has added a slightly sinister new feature for 2016 – a garden of carnivorous plants.

The Savage Garden has been created close to the pond in the National Trust for Scotland property in Wester Ross, featuring striking and unusual carnivorous species including the famous Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) and the distinctive trumpet plant (Sarracenia flava) which took on the role of a triffid in the 1962 film ‘Day of the Triffids’.

Venus flytrap
Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Head gardener Kevin Ball said: “The main attraction will, no doubt, be the Venus flytraps, an insectivorous plant which children will have the opportunity to “feed” under supervision. When first seen in action, these small plants are awe-inspiring. They are without doubt the most famous of all carnivorous plants.

“A small raised bog has been created to display the yellow trumpet plant. It’s named for its tall flowers with pendulous, bright yellow petals – that happen to smell like male cat pee!”

cobra plant
Cobra plant (Darlingtonia californica)
trumpet plant
Trumpet plant (Sarracenia flava)

Originally from North America and South America, these exotic species are an exciting addition to the garden which is famous for its collection of international plants and was founded by Osgood Mackenzie, a pioneering plantsman who collected specimens from all over the world to grow at the garden.

Kevin added: “Inverewe features plant species from all over the world, which thrive here thanks to our mild and protected climate. However, some species still need extra help so we have an Edwardian-style Wardian case within the garden, enabling us to grow and display carnivorous plants which cannot survive out-of-doors without protection.”

Another plant featuring in the garden is the cobra plant (Darlingtonia californica). With its bulbous green heads, twisted red tongues and long tubular pitchers, the cobra plant is suitably named. The team have built up a stock of this plant over a number of years and it is now ready to make a debut in the garden.