We don't normally think of pitcher plants having flowers—it's the leaves with their ability to feed on insects that fascinate us and get our attention. But before the pitchers form each spring, buds swell and flowers open for the business of pollination, giving pollinators a chance to do their thing before the threat of being devoured manifests.
The purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea), formerly in my tiny bog garden, are sending up buds now; other species may bloom any time between February and May. Below a copper-top pitcher shows off it's lovely leaves in the pine savannahs of Brunswick County, NC.
here. See below how some of the anthers have fallen into the cup-like style where insects (primarily bees) will be unavoidably covered with it before they exit.
There are believed to be eight native species of pitcher plants in the United States, and seven of them are found only in the southeast. The wetlands habitat for these plants has been reduced by over 90% and severe poaching continues to threaten their survival in the wild. It is estimated that only 5% of the original stands of Sarracenia still exist.
|Pitcher plant fruit forms after |
pollination and fertilization.
Seed dispersal is in the fall.
Recommended reference: The Savage Garden by Peter D'Amato, Ten Speed Press, 1998.