ICPS Conservation Projects

Conservation Grants

Since 2003, the ICPS has financially supported land management work at carnivorous plant sites in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and two sites in North Carolina. ICPS grants are directed towards programs that have demonstrated effectiveness at stewarding sites, to promote their native carnivorous plants and the biological processes that encourage their continued presence. Because of this work, ICPS members can take pride in helping maintain homes for species such as Sarracenia jonesii, Sarracenia alata, Sarracenia psittacina, and at least 15 other species of carnivorous plants.


Sarracenia alabamensis Conservation Project 2010

Sarracenia alabamensis subsp. alabamensis is now at a higher threat level in 2010 than in recent years. Cheaper land prices have led to quickened land acquisition and draining of surrounding habitats. It is now as important as ever to do our part as carnivorous plant enthusiasts to insure future well-being of this magnificent species.

The ICPS provides funding for prescribed burns and other habitat preservation work on Sarracenia alabamensis sites under the stewardship of The Nature Conservancy. Your contributions to the Sarracenia alabamensis Conservation Project 2010 help make this important work happen.

Make a donation today.


Butterfly Valley Drosera x hybrida Removal

The ICPS assisted the US Forest Service identify and remove an exotic carnivore planted out in a protected national botanical area.

See our profile Butterfly Valley Drosera x hybrida Removal.


ICPS Location Codes - A New Conservation Initiative

In 2003 the ICPS implemented a short term program to distribute rare plants that are covered by the US Endangered Species Act. The ICPS had obtained a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to proceed with its Sarracenia Distribution Program. It was our intent to distribute hundreds of plants within the USA at very low cost to the hobbyist (just a few dollars per plant). It was the hope of the ICPS that this plan would reduce poaching of these rare plants.

As many Carnivorous plant enthusiasts, especially Sarracenia growers, like to know the "location information" or provenance for their plants, the ICPS conservation program devised the notion of "ICPS Location Codes." This notion was vetted by conservation partners of the ICPS, and they all gave their approval. The ICPS will, under no conditions, reveal the identity of these locations. However, growers who obtain plants from these locations via the ICPS will know that they have gotten plants from separate locations.

The ICPS Location Codes consist of a two letter geographic code, followed by a sequential three digit number. Within the USA, the geographic code is the state postal abbreviation. The three digit number tracks the site within the geographical region. The ICPS has Location Codes for many sites in the states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. These will be described in ICPS publications and programs if and when the ICPS obtains seeds or plants it can distribute by way of this conservation initiative.

Location Codes should not be misinterpreted as cultivar designations. This means that if you have a plant with an ICPS location code, do not denote it with singe quotes, as is done with cultivars :

Sarracenia alabamensis 'AL003'   WRONG

Instead, you indicate provenance information in the same format that the ICPS seed bank uses, i.e.

Sarracenia alabamensis - AL003   CORRECT

Why did the ICPS do this? Because this program allowed the horticulturists to obtain rare plants in a proper and legal way. This was a win-win situation for all involved:

  • Horticulturists benefit because they got plants from different sites via a reliable source (the ICPS).
  • The plants benefit because hopefully there was less need for irresponsible people to illegally field collect them.
  • The ICPS benefits because this project fit perfectly into its mission of encouraging "Horticulture, conservation, and science of carnivorous plants."
The ICPS priced plants in its distribution program very inexpensively, i.e. just to cover costs.


Sarracenia alabamensis - 2003 Conservation Program Release

Below is a description of Location Code sites from which the ICPS is distributing plants in its conservation program in 2003. The ICPS will, under no conditions, reveal the identity of these locations. Conservation partners that work with the ICPS have the assurance that they can cooperate with the ICPS in helping distribute plants with Location Codes and that their sites will stay protected and unrevealed. (The ICPS is fully aware that if it revealed the identities of the Location Coded sites, it would never be able to hope for further cooperation with its conservation partners!)



This is a site in central Alabama that houses Sarracenia alabamensis. The quality of the site is fairly good, with many plants that flower vigorously every year. The plants are growing on the edge of an underground clay dome that squeezes the water to the surface. This site has a reasonable amount of topography---the plants are definitely growing on the side of a hill. The plants tended to be a little on the short side when I saw them, but might have been because the year was very dry. The plants grew among many pine trees, and as a result were a little etiolated in places.


This is a small, flat site in central Alabama that houses Sarracenia alabamensis. The site has a good supply of water (there is even a nicely snake-infested stream nearby), but it is enclosed on all sides by dense vegetation (both native and non-native). With just a few years of neglect, the vegetation could close in on the site. Fortunately, the owners burn the site regularly so this is not (as yet) a problem. The plants at this site are different from the others I have seen in that they tend to form dense clusters of pitchers---each clump is about 60 cm (2 feet) in diameter. The photo to the right shows a single clump early in the season---many dead pitchers from the previous year are still visible.


This is a large, very gently sloping site in central Alabama that houses Sarracenia alabamensis. The quality of the site is the best I had ever seen---the plants were growing in full sun with plenty of strong light and plentiful water which was squeezed to the surface by an underground clay dome (even during a drought year that I saw it). The plants are really beautiful.

Sarracenia purpurea var. montana recovery initiatives

Sarracenia purpurea var. montana is a rare pitcher plant found only in a few bogs in the Appalachian mountains. This plant is in particular peril because of ecosystem-wide threats of changes in the hydrology, fire suppression, and development. The ICPS is helping fund a restoration project at the only Sarracenia purpurea var. montana bog remaining in Georgia. The work, being implemented by staff of Atlanta Botanical Gardens, will increase the one relict population to a viable network of several bogs.

See our profile Sarracenia purpurea var. montana - Success Story

Darlingtonia californica Stewardship

The ICPS has been closely involved in the protection of a Darlingtonia site in Nevada County, California. It has been observed by one ICPS botanist that the alders have been encroaching on this bog, possibly as a result of fire suppression. While fire is an unworkable stewardship solution in this area of California, manual thinning and removal of some of the alders should have a rejuvenating effect on the site. The ICPS is working to obtain permission to begin alder removal at the site.

Other Darlingtonia sites in northern California have been suffering from encroachment of woody species and invasive non-natives such as broom (Cytisus scoparius). After a survey of the sites is complete, management proposals will be made and the ICPS hopes to develop a management program with the US Forest Service (which owns a number of the Darlingtonia sites).

See our profile "A Cobra Lily Success Story"

Nepenthes clipeata Survival Program

One of the rarest of the tropical pitcher plants, Nepenthes clipeata is only found on vertical cliff faces of Gunung Kelam, in Kalimantan Barat. Droughts, human habitat destruction, and high levels of poaching have reduced the plant population to shreds. The plant has a low probability of surviving for even 20 years.

The ICPS is organizing a network of botanical gardens and tissue culture labs which have clones of Nepenthes clipeata in cultivation. We will be attempting to determine how many distinct lineages of Nepenthes clipeata are presently in cultivation. While the ICPS strongly promotes protection of wild populations of plants, this is a case in which ex situ conservation is the approach most likely to be successful and realistic.

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