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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Sarracenia purpurea L.
Purple pitcherplant, Northern Pitcher-plant
USDA Symbol: SAPU4
A carnivorous plant with a large, solitary, purplish-red flower on a leafless stalk rising above a rosette of bronzy, reddish-green, hollow, inflated, curved leaves.
A striking plant with lipped, pitcher-like leaves that collect water; organisms attracted to the colored lip have difficulty crawling upward because of the recurved hairs and eventually fall into the water and drown. Enzymes secreted by the plant aid in the digestion of the insect but much of the breakdown is passive, a result of bacterial activity. The plant absorbs the nutrients, especially nitrogenous compounds. A southern species, Parrot Pitcher-plant (S. psittacina) has many prostrate pitchers with hooked lips like a parrots bill.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WV Canada: NB
, SK Native Distribution:
Saskatchewan to Labrador and Nova Scotia; south through New England to Florida; west to Texas; north to Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. Native Habitat:
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
BenefitUse Wildlife: Other Showy Insects
Use Other: This is an insectivorous plant. The pitcher-like leaves hold water into which insects fall. The insects are eventually digested by enzymes released by the plant. (Clough)Wyeomyia smithii and Metriocnemus knabi are obligate inhabitants of the pitcher plants leaves. (Istock 1975)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Mosquito (Wyeomyia smithii) and one species of midge (Metriocnemus knabi)
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Plant identification, green and tube-like
September 18, 2008
LOOKING FOR NAME OF A GREEN TUBE-LIKE PLANT (SHAPED LIKE A CALLA LILY). THE VEINS ARE VISIBLE. MAYBE IN CLUSTER
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery
- Orefield, PA
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-07-30
Research By: TWC Staff