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Businessman Taps Market for Carnivorous Plants

After spending years promoting catfight shows and selling toys, tulips and theater tickets, Sergei Kunitsyn has found his niche.

Now he's in the business of carnivorous plants, which trap and consume insects and spiders.

Kunitsyn said his interest in the exotic plants was aroused when he first saw a Venus flytrap in a flower shop.

"I instantly recalled 'The Little Shop of Horrors,' a film about a carnivorous flower that I loved as a child, and I decided to buy it just out of curiosity," he said.

After that, he opened an online store called Flowerrr.ru, which sells Venus flytraps, sundews, butterworts and an assortment of pitcher plants.

While other retailers sell carnivorous plants in addition to ordinary flowers, Kunitsyn's business is unique in focusing exclusively on them.

Kunitsyn's prices are higher than those of competitors, said Yevgeny Mikhailov, a consultant at the flower vendor Dom Tsvetov. But this is offset by a large number of discounts and higher quality, Kunitsyn said.

"The demand for carnivorous plants is growing, and this can only be explained by a saturation of the market for ordinary plants," said Yekaterina Shemyakina, head of sales at plant retailer Rastitelny Mir. "People want something unusual, something that they can't buy in every supermarket or flower shop."

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