Walt's Look Around: Wesson Carnivorous Plants - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Wesson Carnivorous Plants

WESSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There are pots and containers of them all over the yard and beds full of them planted in the ground and other samples in greenhouses. As well as hanging on the walls and anywhere else Shelia Stewart of Wesson can find to tuck some more.

Most of these are carnivorous plants. They eat bugs. Sheila has always been fascinated by them.

"I've always read about them and admired them. They used to be along I-10. I‘d know them when they were blooming. Loved them. But I didn't ever think about trying to grow them because they grow where they are and it's a wet spot and so I thought they were just pretty where they are."

She transformed from admirer of the carnivores to owners of them after a friend had used some in a science class he was teaching at Hinds and gave them to her when the term was over. Then they went on a field trip to the arboretum in Picayune.

"They had shovel loads of them not even in a pot you could buy for five dollars, big shovel full. I bought that and put it in some nice fertilized soil and killed them. They don't like fertilizer. They make their own. They've adapted to poor soil conditions and they feed themselves."

Once word got out that Sheila liked these type plants, then she sort of became the carnivorous plant lady of Wesson. People started telling her about places where the plants grew about to be bulldozed for a road or a development and Sheila would go get a sample to preserve. And then people started sending her their collections. Up to the point a self-respecting bug hardly stands a chance in her yard. But pest control (by the way they don't eat mosquitoes) isn't why Sheila loves these plants. "I think they're beautiful. I love the flowers when they bloom. I love the seedpods while they're there. I love the pitchers."

Some of these type plants are endangered. Others you couldn't get rid of with a flamethrower.

Matter of fact, after a forest fire is when they DO come out, some of them. But you will always find a good collection of them in Sheila Stewart's yard in Wesson.


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