This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope.

The waterwheel lives a double life: facing extinction in its native habitat even as it creeps into places where it doesn’t belong.

By Marion Renault
in the August 13, 2019 NY Times.

Michael Tessler, a biologist at the American Museum of Natural History, holding waterwheels, a carnivorous aquatic plant, in Big Pond near New York’s Catskill Mountains.   Photo Credit: Brittainy Newman/The New York Times

Michael Tessler, a biologist at the American Museum of Natural History, holding waterwheels, a carnivorous aquatic plant, in Big Pond near New York’s Catskill Mountains.

Photo Credit: Brittainy Newman/The New York Times

Across their kayaks, the three men passed the green shoot back and forth. Occasionally, one of them would cradle it in one palm and bring a hand lens to it with the other, inspecting the carnivorous plant that was their bounty.

By day’s end, the group — Seth Cunningham and Michael Tessler, biologists at the American Museum of Natural History, and John Thompson, coordinator of the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership — filled eight vials with the plant, Aldrovanda vesiculosa, also known as the waterwheel.

The plant shouldn’t be here, and it presents an ecological conundrum.

Read the whole story here.