Four years ago, I applied for the best license plate to ever possibly exist: the Venus Flytrap license plate. A joint project of the NC Botanical Garden Foundation and the Friends of Plant Conservation, the license plate was designed to highlight the Venus flytrap, which is native to a 90-mile inland area around Wilmington. It looks like this:

100% the best license plate that could exist in the history of license plates

To create a new specialty plate in North Carolina, organizations have to do a few things: they have to get 500 pre-orders, and then they have to submit the new plate to the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA), which has to approve it. (They have approved some unusual plates!)

But alas, our flytrap plate is stalled. The 500 pre-orders were received in March 2020, then COVID hit, and then the license plate started slowly chugging through the legislative body. It was approved by some committees, then stalled, then re-submitted. The plate appears to be stalled by one senator, who doesn’t like speciality plates. The botanical gardens website has an excellent and detailed (and frequently updated!) timeline of where things currently stand.

But there’s hope for our carnivorous plant plates

Earlier this month, House Bill 734, which was sponsored by Representative Allen Buansi authorizing the Venus Flytrap specialty plate, was passed unanimously in the House. It will now go to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. Venus flytraps live approximately 20 years in the wild, and this process has taken 4 years so far.

For a lot of information on venus flytraps, you can visit the website of the Venus Flytrap Champions, an organization that appears to exist solely to champion the venus flytrap.


In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.

Melody Kramer is a Peabody-award winning journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and member stations around the country, as well as in publications ranging from National Geographic to Esquire Magazine....