About CPs
The Genus Sarracenia
Sarracenia minor
Sarracenia minor var. okefenokeensis growing in Charlton County, Georgia
Sarracenia rosea
Sarracenia rosea growing in Liberty County, Florida.

The name Sarracenia honors Michel Sarrazin, an early 18th century Quebec botanist and surgeon. Common names for the genus abound. The most common common names are "pitcher plants", "North American pitcher plants", and "trumpet pitchers" (the last being applicable to only the tall and tubular species). Regional common names include "frog's britches", "huntsman's horn" (both probably for Sarracenia purpurea), and "fly bugles." Some common names are derived from the flowers. A flower viewed from below (especially after petal-fall) looks rather like a pocket watch without dial markers or hands, and is therefore unable to tell you the time, earning it the name "dumb watches." Meanwhile, flowers with red petals can look like a cup overflowing with dripping red fluid, resulting in the name "blood cups". Yellow-flowered plants are analogously called "butter cups," which is nice except that this name is more widely applied to a large number of wetland wildflowers in the genus Ranunculus.

Sarracenia is a passive pitcher plant carnivore restricted to the southeastern USA, although one species ranges far north and west into Canada. Most of the species have erect and tubular pitchers. The pitchers are modified leaves. Insects are attracted to the pitchers because they mimic flowers—the pitchers are brightly colored, and are endowed with sugar-exuding glands called extrafloral nectaries (i.e. nectar sites that are not in flowers). It is significant that the pitcher coloration and distribution of nectaries are usually strongest near the pitcher opening—a dangerous place for incoming insects!

Sarracenia taxa:

Sarracenia alabamensis
Sarracenia alabamensis subsp. wherryi
Sarracenia alata
Sarracenia flava
Sarracenia flava
var. atropurpurea
Sarracenia flava
var. cuprea
Sarracenia flava
var. maxima
Sarracenia flava
var. ornata
Sarracenia flava
var. rubricorpora
Sarracenia flava
var. rugelii
Sarracenia jonesii
Sarracenia leucophylla
Sarracenia minor
Sarracenia minor
var. okefenokeensis
Sarracenia oreophila
Sarracenia psittacina
Sarracenia purpurea
Sarracenia purpurea
subsp. purpurea f. heterophylla
Sarracenia purpurea
subsp. venosa
Sarracenia purpurea
subsp. venosa var. montana
Sarracenia rosea
Sarracenia rosea
f. luteola
Sarracenia rubra
Sarracenia rubra
subsp. gulfensis

Read more about Sarracenia at the ICPS sarracenia.com FAQ.

-- Barry Rice

Sarracenia information on the ICPS carnivorousplants.org web site:

Seed Bank: Growing Sarracenia from Seed
Seed Bank: Growing Sarracenia hybrids
How To: Sarracenia Soil Fertilization
How To: Divide Sarracenia (soon)
How To: Display Sarracenia on your deck
Registered Cultivar Names

Sarracenia information in the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter:

Sheridan, Philip M. (1991) What is the identity of the west gulf coast pitcher plant, Sarracenia alata Wood?. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 20(4):102-110 ( )

Schnell, Donald (1989) Sarracenia alata and S. leucophylla variations. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 18(3):79-83 ( )

Schnell, Donald (1998) Sarracenia flava L. varieties. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 27(4):116-120 ( )

Hummer, John H. (2004) The Saga of the Hurricane Creek White Sarracenia leucophylla. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 33(1):4-5 ( )

Sheridan, Phil (1996) The hooded pitcher plant, Sarracenia minor Walt., at its southern limit. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 25(2):39-41 ( )

Schnell, Donald (2002) Sarracenia minor Walt. var. okefenokeensis Schnell: A New Variety. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 31(2):36-39 ( )

Mellichamp, T. L. Editor (1987) Descriptions of Sarracenia alabamensis ssp. alabamensis, S. oreophila, S. jonesii. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 16(2):31-36 ( )

Catalani, Michael (2004) A Field Study of Sarracenia oreophila. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 33(1):6-12 ( )

Schnell, Donald (1981) A Photographic Primer of Variants of Sarracenia purpurea L.. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 10(2):41-44 ( )

Hanrahan, Bob and Jim Miller (1998) History of discovery: yellow flowered Sarracenia purpurea L. subsp. venosa (Raf.) wherry var. burkii. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 27(1):14-17

Stevens, Tim (2002) An Interview with Dr. Rob Naczi about Sarracenia rosea. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 31(3):87-92 ( )

Rice, Barry A. (2003) A Sarracenia purpurea var. montana conservation project. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 32(4):103-106 ( )

Mazur, Carl J. and Jay Lechtman (2005) A Veinless Form of Sarracenia purpurea subsp. purpurea Discovered in Ontario, Canada. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 34(3):79-84 ( )

Rice, Barry A. (2004) Leaf Pullings: a 'new' way to propagate Sarracenia vegetatively. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 33(4):123-126 ( )

Schnell, Donald (1982) A Photographic Primer of Variants of Sarracenia rubra Walt.. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 11(2):41-45 ( )

Search the CPN Index and Archive for over 280 articles about Sarracenia.

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