North American Pitcher Plants
|There are eight species of Sarracenia, The North American Pitcher Plants.
These prehistoric looking plants are characterized by leaves that curve into tubular funnels which catch and digest insects.
Pitcher Plants range in height from 4" long (Parrot Pitcher Plant) to more than 3' tall (Yellow Pitcher Plant).
Pitcher plants attract their prey with an intoxicating nectar which is secreted from the hood of the funnel. Once the insects enter the pitcher, escape is nearly impossible because of the downward pointing hairs on the inside of the hood and the slippery wax coating on the inside of the Pitcher's tube (not to mention the fact that they may be a bit drunk).
The unfortunate insect meets it's doom when it falls into the pool of liquid in the base of the funnel, and is digested by the enzymes which the plant excretes.
The beautiful coloring of the North American Pitcher Plant will be much more intense if the plant receives at least a couple hours of bright, full sunlight each day, but will also grow reasonably well in partial shade. A temperature range of 60 to 85 degrees F. is ideal.
Pitcher Plants should be grown in a mixture of live Sphagnum moss, medium orchid bark and charcoal. If you are unable to get any living Sphagnum moss, a mixture of peat moss and coarse builders sand will suffice.