New research shows that [tomatoes] capture and kill small insects with sticky hairs on their stems and then absorb nutrients through their roots when the animals decay and fall to the ground.
It is thought that the technique was developed in the wild in order to supplement the nutrients in poor quality soil – but even domestic varieties grown in your vegetable patch retain the ability.
So go the findings of research carried out at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Furthermore, their conclusions also contend that potatoes and other plants are also similarly "carnivorous", and that a number of other plant species exhibit such behaviour.
I am sceptical about the whole business and believe that these researchers are attributing too much importance (and murderous intent!) to insects getting caught in the sticky hairs, dying, decaying, falling to the ground, decaying further into the soil and being absorbed as nutrients by the plant.
How reliable is this research? How was the paper (which was submitted to the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society) received?