Plant Adaptation Up Close

3D Images


3D glasses with one red eye and one blue are needed to view these images

Because human eyes are spaced a few inches apart, they receive slightly different images. Our brain “fuses” the two images into one. To create posters like these, where images can be viewed as three-dimensional, two photographs are taken at different angles and colored separately—one red, one blue. The images are nearly overlapped. The red lens of the 3-D glasses stops the blue image from reaching one eye and the blue lens stops the red image from reaching the other eye. Each eye then receives a very different image. Your brain puts them together and is tricked into thinking they are 3-D.


The funnel-shaped leaves of American pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea) are deadly traps. Attracted to the color and nectar inside the pitcher, insects land on the pitcher’s lip, slip in, and cannot escape. In this image we see the unfolding pitcher. Deep inside insects are drowning and being digested. Don’t look too closely—it’s disgusting down there!


Bladderwort (Utricularia inflata) is a tiny carnivorous aquatic plant that has gas-filled bladders, smaller than the head of a pin, attached to its stems. The bladders keep the plant afloat and also capture prey. Tiny hapless water creatures that swim too close to the bladder cause it to suddenly contract, which sucks in the creature. Don’t stick your fingers inside this one!

© 2005 Botanic Garden of Smith College

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