Plant types and subtypes: Perennials
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun
Water Use: high
Soil Moisture: wet
Soil Description: acid, poor
Bloom Time: May, June, July, August
Bloom Color: red, purple
Leaf Color: green, purple, multi-color
Hardiness Zone: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: bog plant, colonizing, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, swamp plant, wetland plant
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Sarracenia purpureaAlso known as:
decumbent pitcher plant,
Northern pitcher plant
Sarracenia purpurea is the most common of the pitcher plants. The purple-veined leaves are curled and fused to form the pitcher which traps insects and other small organisms. The veined, frilly hood, or lid, of the purple pitcherplant, is erect and does not cover the opening of the pitcher. In spring, large, nodding, reddish-purple flowers bloom on erect stalks, rising to 12 inches from the center of the basal leaf rosette. The darker sepals are pointed, the petals are lighter in color and more rounded.
This conspicuous plant needs the acidic, nutrient poor muck of wetlands and bogs, and full to part-sun. At no time should this plant's environment be allowed to dry out, yet care should be taken to ensure that the crown is not submerged for prolonged periods of time. In most gardens creating a "mini bog" in non-draining plastic containers might be the best method to cultivate pitcherplants. Potting medium should consist of peat, vermiculite, perlite and sand. Traditional potting mixes or the use of fertilizers may kill the plant. This is a hardy species that can be found as far north as the Arctic circle. It may be considered evergreen in warmer climates. Bloom times vary greatly due to its extensive native range; May through August. Zones 2-9
Propagate by division. Pitcherplants may be propagated from seed, but this is a difficult process and new plants may take 4 to 5 years to reach maturity.
Insects and other small organisms drown in the plant's pitcher. Their soft parts are digested with the help of enzymes and bacteria. Carnivorous plants developed this ability to compensate for the nutrient poor environment in which they grow. Strict adherence to growing requirements must be followed for this plant to thrive.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
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, WA, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: GA, IL
- Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
- Threatened: FL, MD, MI
|Species||Sarracenia purpurea||purple pitcherplant|