Sarracenia purpurea (Pitcher Plant) - photos and description






Downward pointing hairs keep insects from crawling out of the pitchers



General: Carnivorous plant which grows in acidic peat bogs in our boreal forest, a single, erect, leafless scape grows above a cluster of basal leaves.

This plant is floral emblem of Newfoundland.

Flowers: Flowers are borne singly on long stems. The flowers are 5 cm in diameter, 5 petals and 5 sepals, red outside, and yellowish-green inside. Flowering begins in mid to late June. Pitchers to 11 cm long and 3 cm across.

Leaves: The leaves are all basal, form tubes (pitchers) which fill with rain water to trap insects. Downward pointing hairs on the inside of the pitchers allow insects to enter, but deter them from leaving. The insects which drown in the pitchers are absorbed by the plant to provide nitrogen which is lacking in its low nutrient, acidic bog.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 50 cm. I measured flower stems to 35 cm tall.

Habitat: Peat bogs in the boreal forest.

Abundance: Fairly common, ranked as an S4 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken June 22nd, July 24th,a and June 29th acidic bog, boreal forest, central Saskatchewan.