A carnivorous plant (also called an insectivorous plant) is a plant that obtains part or most of its nutritional needs by capturing and consuming protozoa and animals, especially insects (as well as other arthropods). These plants generally grow in places where the soil is poor, especially in nitrogen, such as acidic wetlands and rocky outcrops. Charles Darwin wrote the first known treatise on these plants in 1875.
The carnivorous habit is thought to have evolved into at least 11 separate lineages that are represented by more than a dozen genera in five families. These include about 630 species that attract and trap their prey, produce enzymes or possess digestive bacteria and absorb the resulting nutrients. In addition, more than 300 species of protocarnivorous plants in various genera show some, but not all.