I think it just makes sense that a state with killer alligators and a variety of poisonous snakes would also have predaceous plants. I’d been hoping to see some (the plants, not the reptiles) on one of our hikes, and yesterday was the day! On a colorful walk through a private garden, Moore Farms Botanical Garden near Lake City, we saw 2,250 carnivorous pitcher plants, natives of coastal South Carolina.
These plants grow wild in bogs (spongy wet areas), only in small areas in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. They are so interesting because they ‘eat’ pollinating insects in the spring, trapping them inside a rolled leaf tube. Some
pitchers have a leaf flare over the top as an umbrella to keep rain from diluting the digestive juices inside.
The tube is studded inside with one-way hairs that prevent the unsuspecting visitor from escaping and with nectar-secreting glands that produce tasty sugar and a toxin. The wetness makes the tube slippery and they fall down to be digested in a fluid at the bottom of the tube.
The trumpeter pitcher plant (left) is found in a few locations only in North and South Carolina. The bright patterns on the tubes attract insects the same way bright-colored flowers do.
The yellow pitcher plant has a flower that hangs over the tube to keep rain out. Yellow pitchers grow to three feet tall.
Another ✔️ on my bucket list!
“Mmmm, what’s for lunch!”