Second Annual Long Island Natural History Conference















The Carnivorous Plants of Long Island
Matthew Michael Kaelin


ABSTRACT:  Carnivorous Plants are a fascinating and curious subject. They attract, catch and consume invertebrates and in some cases, small vertebrates by various diabolical methods. The rich photography for this presentation will express the fascinating and macabre beauty these plants possess while providing detailed examples for observation and identification.

Long Island is the division and the bridge between the pine barrens of New Jersey and the coastal plains of New England and as such, exhibits the diversity of carnivorous plants across the region, yet is often overlooked. Containing coastal plains ponds, pine barrens, sphagnum bogs and shifting dune landscapes, Long Island provides many ideal and varied habitats for carnivorous plants. Through our awareness, we will have the ability to restore and manage the suitable habitats for Long Island’s native carnivorous plants, which will also protect other threatened flora and fauna that depend upon these same ecosystems helping preserve the overall biodiversity of our Island.

“The Carnivorous Plants of Long Island” presentation will cover the sixteen species in the three Genera of Carnivorous Plants that are native to Long Island. I will discuss the subspecies of the Pitcher Plant Sarracenia purpurea, the Sundew species (Drosera and their hybrids) that can be found on Long Island, examples of unusual growth habits observed in Drosera intermedia, the importance of Long Island’s Drosera filiformis populations, and descriptions of Long Island’s native Bladderworts (Utricularia). The major threats to the continual survival of the carnivorous plants on Long Island and the possibilities for conservation to protect them for the future will also be discussed.

Matthew Michael Kaelin is an accomplished cultivator of carnivorous plants and has exhibited his photography of carnivorous plants at Galleries and events in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and on Long Island and is currently involved in a conservation survey of Long Island’s native carnivorous plants for the North American Sarracenia Conservancy and the Long Island Botanical Society. He also chaired the organization of the academic presentations for the 10th Conference of the International Carnivorous Plant Society.