Saturday, May 4, 2019

Pitcher Plants

  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!”


  1. Carnivorous plants are very interesting indeed, and generally they are good looking too. In my experience people who are unfamiliar with them are really surprised to learn of their unusual habits.

  2. They are astonishing plants and quite attractive too. We have a little Sundew that grows in wet areas that has a similar lifestyle, but it's much smaller and easily overlooked.

  3. I've always been rather fascinated by these carnivorous plants. I didn't realize there were so many different kinds. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  4. I did see carnivorous plants once here. You'e got to be an expert to find these plants.

  5. That's an impressive collection. I've only studied pitcher plants in biology class and seen them in books!

  6. They are in S.E Asia..........some of the top resort hotels have them with signs - Warning you.

  7. Amazing plant they are, have seen them growing somewhere in my travels.

  8. Talk about biting the hand (bug) that pollinates you...

  9. These plants are so interesting. I purchased a Venus flytrap for our apartment but was not successful keeping it alive. Maybe the small gnat problem wasn't enough to keep it fed. The gnats are gone now as is the flytrap plant.

  10. How interesting. I have read about pitcher plants and seen one or two but never in a natural area these are growing in. Those gators scare me and glad you didn't see any.