The Pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant that I have always been fond of. The sheer design and functions of it are amazing for being just a plant.
The Pitcher plant is another carnivorous plant that is found in bog areas of North America. The Sarracenia versions are found along the southeastern coast of the United States. The exception is the Sarracenia pupurea that can be found from the gulf coastal plain all the way up the east coast and even into Maine and parts of Canada. All of these plants belong to the family name of Sarraceniaceae. However there seems to be little difference (if any) to the American Pitcher plant (Sarracenia) and the Nepenthes distillatoria of Ceylon, China and the East Indies. The Pitcher plant is also given credit for curing the small-pox disease among the Native Americans back in the colonial period. Nowadays though, there are several types and versions of the Pitcher plant, each with difference that is individual of the type. If one cares to seek them out, they will have no problem finding a surplus of information.
It is called the Pitcher plant due to its leaves that form cups (they are tall cups since the plant is cylinder-like from the base up to the top of the leaf). By the leaves being in a "pitcher" shape, it can then catch the rain water and hold it inside. The Pitcher plant can also cover itself with a lid when the weather is hot. The fibers of the modified leaf-stalk contract, thus drawing the end of the leaf down over the opening. Living in a bog area makes the pure rainwater inside this plant much more appealing to insects than the mucky bog water it lives near.
The tip of the plant and all the way down the center is lined with tiny hairs that grow in a downward manner. Once the insect has landed and climbs down inside for a drink, the downward pointed hairs prevent the bug from climbing it out and knocks it into the water causing it to drown. This collected water has anaerobic bacteria that lives in the water that helps the Pitcher plant to digest the insects that have landed in the water. These pitcher shaped leaves grow together in a rosette shaped pattern in mid to late September, a very strange shaped red-purple-green colored flower will grow on an independent stem out of the middle of the rosette.
There is little that these plants require (although I have never known anybody to keep one as a house plant, and I personally have never had one even though have I have owned several Venus Fly Traps). They do however like moist, well-drained surroundings. They will grow, so they might require a small trellis if it gets larger after you purchase it. There is nothing special to be done for the single flower it will produce, the pitcher is the focal point of this plant's existence.
- Personal Knowledge