THEY resemble the odd-looking carnivorous plants from the Little Shop of Horrors, with long, hanging tendrils and tube-like traps.
No, they won't bite although they will absorb nutrients from the remains of insects, anthropods, rats and frogs caught in their sticky traps.
Now you can buy this 'pest control' plant for your garden at the GardenTech 2007, which opens today at the HortPark at Hyderabad Road.
The fifth bi-yearly landscaping and horticulture event is organised by the National Parks Board (NParks).
With more than 100 exhibitors, it expects to draw at least 50,000 visitors to the five-day event.
The star attraction is the newly-named Nepenthes GardenTech insectivorous plant, which is making its debut at the free exhibition.
The plant, a hybrid between a Nepenthes Ampullaria and Nepenthes Ventricosa, was cultivated last year by Borneo Exotics, a Sri Lankan-based nursery.
An NParks spokesman told The New Paper: 'The Nepenthes GardenTech is interesting because it is a hybrid between a cool-growing highland species (Nepenthes Ventricosa) and warm-growing lowland species (Nepenthes Ampullaria). This means that it can grow in a wide range of temperatures.
'It is also unique because the pitchers are uniformly red. The colours of the Nepenthes Ampullaria range from green to some speckled with red.'
Supply is limited, with only three small pots of Nepenthes GardenTech on sale each day. Each plant, between 8cm and 15cm in diameter, is priced from $8 to $25.
Borneo Exotics said more will be available at the Singapore Garden Festival next July.
At GardenTech, 11 other varieties of Nepenthes will be on sale by other exhibitors.
You can grow them in HDB flats. The hardy plants thrive in humid conditions and damp soil.
It takes about three years before it matures. By then, it can produce hundreds of traps and stems reaching up to 10m high.
In the wild, a large Nepenthes can grow to as big as 45cm in diameter.
So don't place them near the walls or anything that they can attach themselves to if you don't want them to creep into your neighbour's house.
Despite their venomous-looking exteriors, these plants aren't poisonous or dangerous.
Explained an NParks spokesman: 'Even if you touch the Venus Fly, which is the most 'active' insectivorous plant, its mouth will close on your finger but it will not be painful or dangerous.'
Among the highlights at GardenTech 2007 is the dancing plant, which responds to sounds, and the insectivorous plants from North America.
Those who want to learn more about these unusual plants can attend a free one-hour workshop on 10 Dec.