Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Sarracenia flava L.
- Family: Pitcher-plant (Sarraceniaceae)
- Flowering: March-May
- Field Marks: The distinguishing characteristics of this pitcher-plant are the lack of whitish
areas on the pitchers, upright pitchers, yellow petals, and hoods that are usually purple or
purple-spotted on the inner surface.
- Habitat: Wet prairies, low pinelands, flatwoods, bogs, savannas, cypress swamps, seepage
- Habit: Perennial herb with branched rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, bearing only a flower, longer than the pitchers.
- Leaves: Most leaves hollow, elongated, very narrow at the base, forming the pitchers with a
hood or lid at the top; pitchers up to 3 feet tall, borne in upright clusters, yellow-green or
sometimes even purple-red; hood arching well above the mouth of the pitchers; some leaves flat,
sword-like, formed during the summer and persisting through the winter.
- Flowers: Solitary, nodding, dominated by a broad, umbrella-like, 5-lobed style that is positioned
over the rest of the flower; style up to 3 1/2 inches in diameter, yellow, or yellow-green.
- Sepals: 5, ovate to lance-ovate, yellow or yellow-green, free from each other, up to 2 1/2 inches
- Petals: 5, yellow or yellow-green, free from each other, up to 4 inches long.
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules brown, somewhat warty, splitting along 5 seams; seeds warty.
- Notes: The flowers have a strong odor.
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