Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Sarracenia rubra Walter
- Family: Pitcher-plant (Sarraceniaceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: This pitcher-plant lacks whitish areas on the pitchers, has upright pitchers, and
maroon to dull purple petals.
- Habitat: Low pinelands, bogs, stream banks, peaty areas, wet savannas.
- Habit: Perennial herb with branched rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, bearing only a flower, longer than the pitchers.
- Leaves: Most leaves hollow, elongated, tubular, forming the pitchers with a hood or lid at the
tip; pitchers up to 1 3/4 feet tall, borne in upright clusters, bright red with coppery veins at
maturity, usually greenish early in the season; hood ovate, up to 1 1/2 inches across; a few leaves
flat, not pitcher-like, often developing late in the season.
- Flowers: Solitary, nodding, dominated by a broad, umbrella-like, 5-lobed style that is positioned
over the rest of the flower; style up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, greenish.
- Sepals: 5, ovate-triangular, purplish, free from each other, up to 1 1/4 inches long.
- Petals: 5, maroon to dull purple, free from each other, up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules brown, somewhat warty, splitting along 5 seams; seeds warty.
- Notes: This pitcher-plant is very variable, and several subspecies or even distinct species have
been named. The flowers are usually sweetly scented.
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