Venus Flytrap--Dobbs' "Catch Fly"

On April 2, 1759, Governor Arthur Dobbs penned a letter to his naturalist friend in England, Peter Collinson. His words are the first written about the Venus Flytrap: “We have a kind of Catch Fly sensitive which closes upon anything that touches it, it grows in the Latitude 34 but not in 35°–I will try to save the seed here.”

Dobbs, originally from Ireland, was the royal governor of North Carolina from 1754 to 1763. In 1758, he moved to Brunswick, where he made his home at a plantation he called Castle Dobbs. His time as governor was difficult, and he found himself increasingly at odds with the General Assembly’s precursor. Dobbs found solace in his exploration of the natural history of North Carolina.

Though it is known and cultivated throughout the world, the Venus Flytrap is native only to a small area of the Coastal Plain in North and South Carolina, mostly within a 75 mile radius of Wilmington. The General Assembly adopted the Venus Flytrap as the official State Carnivorous Plant in 2005.

Visit: Carolina Beach State Park in Carolina Beach is one of the best places to See Venus Flytraps in the wild.