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Severed Mutant VFT Flower Stalk
Severed Mutant VFT Flo  

VFT Showing Severed Flower Stalk
VFT Showing Severed Fl  
One of my Venus flytraps put out an exceptionally thick flower stalk.  It was particularly noteworthy because the plant itself is not very large.  The flower stalk itself was not only thick, but also unusual in that it had several side branches.  Unfortunately, I noticed today that something severed the stalk--perhaps a bird.  Upon closer inspection, the strangeness of the stalk further increased when I saw that there appear to be a couple of actual new plants budding from nodes in the stalk--complete with leaves and traps forming at the ends.  I have never seen anything like this.  Is this normal?  (Pictures attached.)

Answer
The mutation occurred because of misfiring of plant hormones.  This seems to occur mostly in Dente flytraps and when they're brought out of dormancy earlier than usual.  Based on your photos, you're likely in a much warmer region than our nursery in Oregon, so this would have been expected.

It's actually good that the bird snipped off the stalk because it tends to cause the mother plant to wither.  The mutated flower stalk diverts all available energy to growing a plantlet on the stalk, which weakens the mother plant below.  

It's unlikely you see this again next season since your plant would be well acclimated to your area by then.  But if you happen to see it again, snip it off before it gets too large.  Or have one of the birds do it for you.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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