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Sarracenia spp.

Pronunciation: Sar-uh-sen-ee-uh
Family: Sarraceniaceae (pitcherplant family)
Common Name: Eastern north american pitcherplants, pitcherplants
Plant Type:
  • grasses
  • bulb, tuber, corm
Height to: 4"-3'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -50 to -40ºF ZONE 2
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Interestingly, there are some protozoans, algae, bacteria, insect larvae and other tiny creatures that have adaptations to resist being digested and actually live and reproduce in the liquid within the pitcher. The flowers of the eight pitcherplant species are all pretty similar. They appear in early spring as the new pitchers are developing. The fleshy five-petaled flowers nod on stalks that stand among, sometimes above, the pitchers.
Soil Type: Pitcher plants need to be wet most all the time. Use only rain water.
Propagation: Divide in spring. Plant seeds after cold stratification in a damp acidic medium.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - all are characterized by leaves that are modified into tubular funnels which catch and digest insects and other small animals. Pitcherplants grow from branching rhizomes (underground stems) and what may appear to be a colony of pitcherplants might actually be a single clone. The pitchers are marvels of evolution. Pitcherplants are best appreciated in their natural habitat. Some people do cultivate them, however, and they do so in a cool greenhouse in pots with 3 parts sphagnum and 1 part each of leaf mold and coarse sand in full light. During the growing season the pots are placed in trays of acidic water. It is essential to allow the plants a winter dormant period with cooler temperatures and less water. Outdoors, pitcherplants may be grown in wet acidic soil in full sun. Pitcher plants are becoming rarer every year as more and more of their habitat is drained for development or polluted by human activity. Several of the species are listed as endangered or threatened by various states agencies and conservation organizations, and none should ever be collected from the wild.
Located in: Grasses
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