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Common Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) – 2 photos

Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants. They feed on insects, spiders and any other small animal that falls into their trap. The inside of the flower is lined with curved projections called “hairs” although they are not made of hair like a mammals. They are stiff and point downward which allows the captured prey to move further into the flower but never back up toward the top.

The bottom of the flower has a liquid which contains digestive juices. When the prey gets to the liquid, it is broken down and the plant absorbs the nutrients. The pitcher plant, and all other carnivorous plants, feed on prey which they much catch because they live in environments which don’t provide the nutrients they need in the soil.

Both of the photos are of the same plant. They were not taken in the wild but at a display at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. They were photographed using a Nikon Coolpix P7700 camera and processed using ACDSee Ultimate 10.

All photos © 2014 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.

Text © 2018 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.


Common Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) (2014-06-26 13-57-06a)

This photo shows how long the tube containing the digestive fluids actually is.

  1. I am not sure if you have tried it. When I hike in the mountainside of my country, there are several pitcher plants. One of the locals told us that it is good to drink water from it. I tried once. C'<0

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Common Pitcher Plant (Close-up View) (Sarracenia purpurea) (2014-06-26 13-57-23a)

This shows the opening through which the prey enters. Unfortunately it's not detailedenough to see the curved "hairs."

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What do you think?

11 Points

Written by Gary J Sibio


    • Did you see a lot of them when you were young? I’ve never seen one in the wild. Occasionally the local garden shop has them for sale. Come to think of it, I should get one. We’re having a horrible fruit fly problem.