||Purple pitcher plant, Sarracenia
although not edible, was used medicinally by
Native Americans to treat kidney, pulmonary,
gynecological and dermatological ailments.
The vase like shape of the leaves made
emergency containers for Native American
adults and kids alike.
A carnivorous plant, an insect is attracted
This plant found in an acidic bog is
|Right Photo: Back of a pitcher
Pitcher plants are found in bogs in Michigan and throughout Ontario.
Below: Pitcher Plants in a typical acidic Cranberry Bog.
Flower in bloom, May and June.
Pitcher Plant Sarracenia purpurea L. is a perennial, carnivorous herb.
Description: Leaves evergreen, modified into pitchers and arranged in a rosette. Plant leave is modified into a cornucopia shape, a vase-like shape, widening toward the mouth. Pitcher fills with or is partly full of rainwater. Leaf color varies from bright yellow-green to dark purple with strong red venation. The leaves, or pitchers, are produced each year from stems arising from the rhizomes.
The modified leaves perform the task of taking in nutrients (insects) required for photosynthesis.
Flower pink to dark red, solitary, on a leafless stem, 1'-2', arising from the rhizome.
Fruit a capsule with laterally winged seeds.
Long lived Rhizomes live in soil (bog moss or peat) for 20-30 years.Location: Roots function almost entirely for support in highly acidic bog water. Found with cranberries in acid bogs of the northern tier of States. Rare Golden Pitcher Plants are found in bogs of northern California, and southern California arboretums.
Notes: Insects are attracted to the colorful red lip of the "pitcher". Red veins lead downward and are baited with nectar. Following the bait, the prey reach the curve of the tube, which is lined with fine hairs, all pointing downward. Here the animal falls into the pitcher, which contains rain, dew, and a digestive enzyme that soon dissolves the victim.
Veterinarian/Wildlife: The plant not only consumes insects but also mites, spiders, isopods and small frogs. The diet of meat helps the plants remain vigorous, but it does not appear essential for survival. From their digested prey the plants obtain phosphorus and nitrogen, vitamins and trace minerals necessary for photosynthesis..