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University's meat-eating plants help charity win medal at Chelsea Flower show

Carnivore plants

A spectacular display featuring carnivorous plants from the University of Reading's glass houses has won a Silver Gilt medal at Chelsea Flower Show.

Dr Alastair Culham, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, worked with the Carnivorous Plants Society to set up a display ahead of this week’s show.

The team found out on Tuesday that they were one of 25 displays to have been awarded a Silver Gilt medal.

The display featured plants such as the distinctive Venus flytrap, which traps insects by snapping closed its spiny jaws, and Drosera, red sundew plants that secrete a sticky substance to catch and suffocate insects.

Many of the plants were from the University of Reading’s glass houses. These allow plants from around the world to be grown in the UK by replicating the natural conditions.

It is difficult to keep the plants in suitable conditions while on display in Chelsea, and Dr Culham’s team often have to hose down the sundew plants on their return to Reading to get rid of the dust that has settled on them through the week.

The world-famous Chelsea Flower Show is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and this year runs from Tuesday 23 May to Saturday 27 May. It aims to inspire gardeners by showcasing the best in garden design.

The Carnivorous Plants Society is a charitable organisation that works to promote knowledge and conservation of carnivorous plants around the world.

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