Byblis liniflora flower
Byblis gigantea in Western Australia
A name purportedly used for Byblis is rainbow plant, although I have only ever heard one person use this name in conversation. It is completely goofy in my opinion, as it is supposed to note the way the gland droplets, if viewed at the correct angle with respect to the illumination source, refract light into spectral colors. This simple optical effect can be seen in Drosera, Drosophyllum, Pinguicula, grassy lawns, and freshly moistened pavement. I do not refer to such observations as "rainbow pavement", nor will I refer to these plants by such a name.
As names go, I much prefer the simpler Byblis. It brings forth the memory of the spicy hot granddaughter (or niece, depending on the telling) of the Roman god Apollo. Byblis was most-bodacious. But she made the nasty mistake of developing amorous feelings for her twin brother, Caunus. Even though this kind of thing was not completely forbidden for gods and their kin, her brother spurned her. So she cried and cried and cried. And then, BLAM! She was turned into a fountain.
It has been frequently observed that Byblis plants host hemipteran insects (Setocoris sp.). These nasty, sharp-snouted scavengers crawl on the surface of the plant without being captured themselves, and vampiricly suck the juices out of captured prey. The poo from these bugs presumably benefit the plant.
Read more about Byblis at the ICPS sarracenia.com FAQ
-- Barry Rice
Byblis information on the ICPS carnivorousplants.org web site:
Registered Cultivar Names
Byblis information in the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter:
Lowrie, Allen (1981) Byblis gigantea. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 10(1):14,19-20 (
Lavarack, P. S. (1981) The Northern Rainbow Plant -- Byblis liniflora. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 10(4):102-103 (
Cochran, Brian (1995) My experiences growing Byblis gigantea from seed. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 24(1):6-10 (
Search the CPN Index and Archive for over 60 articles about Byblis.