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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Sarracenia purpurea (Purple pitcherplant)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Sarracenia purpurea

Sarracenia purpurea L.

Purple pitcherplant, Northern Pitcher-plant

Sarraceniaceae (Pitcherplant Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: SAPU4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

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.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: AL , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , 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: Sphagnum bogs.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)

Benefit

Use 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
Attracts: Butterflies
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

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL
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 on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1996 VOL. 13, NO.2 - Annual Wildflower Days Festival, Wildflower Center Hotline, The Visitor Experien...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sarracenia purpurea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sarracenia purpurea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sarracenia purpurea

Metadata

Record Modified: 2012-07-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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