There are more than 450 different species of carnivorous plants found in the world. At least some occur on every continent except Antarctica. They are especially numerous in North America, southeastern Asia, and Australia. Carnivorous plants typically live in wet habitats that are open and sunny, with nutrient-poor soils having an acidic pH. They do not like competition from other plants, and thus seem to thrive in the nutrient-poor habitats where other types of plants do not grow very well. These plants may be found in wet meadows in the southeastern United States or in peat-moss bogs in northern North America and Eurasia. Some are true aquatics, growing in the quiet waters of ponds and ditches around the world. Still others grow on wet, seeping, rocky cliffs or moist sand. In many cases they grow in places that have periodic fires that act to cut down on competition, keep their habitats open, and release nutrients into the soil.

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