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Sarracenia purpurea L.
Purple Pitcherplant, Northern Pitcher-plant, Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarraceniaceae (Pitcher-plant Family)
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 parrot's bill.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: 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 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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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 ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1996 VOL. 13, NO.2 - Annual Wildflower Days Festival, Wildflower Center Hotline, The Visitor Experien...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Sarracenia purpurea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sarracenia purpurea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sarracenia purpurea
MetadataRecord Modified: 2020-07-27
Research By: TWC Staff