Friday’s puzzle was tough! Several of you were on the right track – this is a carnivorous plant. Right away Deb suggested a pitcher plant (then got sidetracked with chestnuts), but Derek was spot on with his guess of the “spiky bits” on a Nepenthes pitcher:
What the function of these spiky wings are is not clear to me; I did a little checking in the literature but failed to find anything convincing. It does seem to suggest a close relationship with fly traps. Perhaps the ancestral type was a fly trap type plant, which eventually evolved to an enclosed pitcher? (Perhaps someone out there has a better grasp of carnivorous plant evolution than I do?)
And the scientific name? Nepenthes alata, or “winged Nepenthes.”
Thanks for playing!