At Network Real Estate, we love learning more about southeastern North Carolina and all the unique things this area offers. One of those things is the Venus flytrap, a carnivorous plant. It survives by catching its prey—insects and spiders, mostly—with a trap at the base of its leaves that closes around its unsuspecting victims.

Creepy? Maybe. Cool? Definitely.

One of the best things about Venus flytraps is that they’re native to southeastern North Carolina. Although they’ve been transplanted and grown all over the world, they are only found in the wild in coastal North Carolina, specifically Wilmington, NC. That’s right—the Port City is the one true home of the Venus flytrap.

It’s a heritage our city is proud to claim, and one we take very seriously—especially because this species is classified as “vulnerable” by the National Wildlife Federation. In 2014, North Carolina passed a legislation which made the theft of Venus flytraps a felony. In 2015, it was estimated that there were fewer than 33,000 plants in the wild. As you can see, this plant—strange, fascinating, and rare outside of Wilmington—needs our protection now more than ever.

Just because these plants are protected, however, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. Here are three ways to honor Wilmington’s Venus flytrap and enjoy the natural beauty of this “killer” plant.

See Them in the Wild

If you’d like to see Venus flytraps in their natural habitat, just head to Carolina Beach State Park. Throughout the park’s 600 acres, you’ll be able to see a variety of habitats and plenty of Venus flytraps. The visitor’s center features a terrarium so you can preview these plants before heading into the wild, and the Flytrap Trail is a half mile loop that takes you past many habitats that can be viewed easily from the path. Because Venus flytaps are smaller than you might think, you can go with a guide who can point them out so you don’t miss anything.

Buy Them for Your Home

While it’s a felony to steal a Venus flytrap, it is possible to purchase one legally, and they make an interesting and unique addition to your home. To ensure that you’re supporting a legal operation, it’s important to find out where the flytraps came from before you hand over your cash. Southeastern Community College sells flytraps grown in their lab for $5 a piece, which is a good way to play it safe!

Celebrate Them Around Town

Wilmington is home to many local craft breweries, and one of the best takes this native plant as its namesake. Flytrap Brewing is located in Downtown Wilmington on Walnut Street. In addition to local art, delicious beers, and a spacious beer garden, they also have a bike rack in the shape of a giant Venus flytrap. It’s a fun and festive way to celebrate this unique plant!

We hope this post sheds some light on the mysterious Venus flytrap and helps you appreciate one of Wilmington’s many one-of-a-kind offerings. For more about this area and all it has to offer, subscribe to our blog—we love covering the best of coastal North Carolina and helping our clients enjoy all the area has to offer.