Sarracenia L.

Pitcher Plant

Commemorating Dr M. Sarrazin de l’Etang (1659–1734), physician of Quebec, who sent plants of S. purpurea to the botanist J.P. de Tournefort (1656–1708).

Herbaceous perennials with a thick horizontal rhizome bearing apical clusters of mostly pitcher-like leaves. Leaf pitchers with either lids or hoods and up to 1 m or more long, often with a thickened mouth margin; variously marked with red or brown, especially on the veins. Flowers rising above the pitchers, nodding. Calyx of (4-)5 sepals with 3-4 bracts below. Petals 5, yellow to red and eventually shed; stamens numerous. Ovary superior with 5 chambers, the style expanded into an umbrella-shaped structure with 5 ribs. Fruit a rough capsule.

Hybridisation is common both in nature and horticulture. Plants in cultivation may be induced to flower early.

Listed and available hybrids (these will show a mix of the parental characters): Sarracenia ×ahlesii (S. alata × S. rubra), S. ×harperi (S. flava × S. minor), S. ×areolata (S. alata × S. leucophylla), S. ×mitchelliana (S. leucophylla × S. purpurea), S. ×catesbaei (S. flava × S. purpurea), S. ×moorei (S. flava × S. leucophylla), S. ×chelsoni (S. purpurea × S. rubra), S. ×popei (S. flava × S. rubra), S. ×courtii (S. psittacina × S. purpurea), S. ×readii (S. leucophylla × S. rubra), S. ×excellens (S. leucophylla × S. minor), S. ×rehderi (S. minor × S. rubra), S. ×exornata (S. alata × S. purpurea), S. ×swaniana (S. minor × S. purpurea), S. ×formosa (S. minor × S. psittacina), S. ×wrigleyana (S. leucophylla × S. psittacina), S. ×gilpini (S. psittacina × S. rubra).

Seed, division or tissue culture.

Pitcher hoods and lids without a forked appendage; style umbrella-like.

8 species from swamplands of E North America

The key is to species only. Note that many cultivated plants are hybrids and most of the species have a range of varieties and forms available.

Source: Clayton, C.; Spencer, R. (1997). Sarraceniaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Ericales
family       Sarraceniaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Sarracenia alata (A.W.Wood) A.W.Wood.
species         Sarracenia flava L.
species         Sarracenia leucophylla Raf.
species         Sarracenia minor Walter
species         Sarracenia oreophila (Kearney) Wherry
species         Sarracenia psittacina Michx.
species         Sarracenia purpurea L.
species         Sarracenia rubra Walter