Friday, May 21, 2010

Pitcher This!

B had read in the newspaper that the pitcher plants (Sarracenia) were up and putting on quite the show along a state highway in the Hosford area in nearby Liberty County. We knew we did not want to miss seeing these carnivorous plants. We were not disappointed. There were thousands of them. We even noticed that in areas where prescribed fire has controlled the underbrush, the pitcher plants have come back beautifully.

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The most noticeable are the trumpets, Sarracenia flava. Their chartreuse coloring shines in the darker greens and greys of their surroundings. Their height also sets them above most of the other plants at the ground level.

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What we see here are leaves shaped into a funnel that is used to trap insects, which the plants digest and use as sources for nutrients. The top of the throat has a nectar that entices the insects. The hood helps keep the funnel from filling up with rain, which would wash out some of the insects.

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The inside of the funnel is slippery and coated with fine, downward-angled hairs. The insects that fall in are unable to climb or fly out. There are no moving plant parts, as are found in venus flytraps.

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Let me tell you, this is the perfect location to catch insects! The bugs were thick!

This is the flower.

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I’m not clear whether this is a different subspecies, but WOW! Look at the colors!

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Other red pitcher plants were also out. These Sarracenia purpurea are not so tall.100_1295

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Here is a peek underneath:100_1282

And look at these! Aren’t they fantastic?

I am fairly sure that these are the pitchers for the flowers above, though I did not see them together anywhere we stopped.100_1307

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Keep eatin’ those bugs!

1 comment:

wlh said...

One of my favorite plants of all time.