Sarracenia purpurea pitcher-plant Sarraceniaceae SAPU; R;

Sarracenia purpurea.Darren Loomis.Digital Atlas of the Virginia

Sarracenia purpurea.Darren Loomis.Atlas of the Virginia Flora. 2014. Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg. (Accessed 4/2014).

Sarracenia purpurea is a perennial, carnivorous, evergreen herb. 

Leaves basal, 10-20 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, hollow, widest near the top, with a cupped wing on one side which forms a hood over the top of the leaf, usually purple-veined, inside surface covered with downward-pointing hairs. 

Flowers red-purple, 5-7 cm wide, round, 5-parted, petals soon deciduous, sepals persistant; nodding, on a naked stalk 30-50 cm tall, solitary; blooming May-June (Hough 1983). 

Fruit a dry capsule, splitting open to release small seeds; fruiting July-Aug. (Hough 1983). 

Wetland status: OBL. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open, acid, sphagnum bogs, usually in sandy soil of pine barrens. 

Notes: Leaves adapted to trap insects. These are digested in the enzyme-containing reservoir of the leaf base and provide the plant with nitrogen in very nutrient-poor acid bog habitats.