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Carnivorous White-Topped Pitcher Plant

Sarracenia leucophylla


This plant, as pictured, has a pitcher-shaped flower, and a similar colored lid. There is red veining against a white and green background. The stem has no leaves. Those pictured were 1 to 1 1/2 feet in height.


These flowers were spotted in the Florida panhandle in Tarkiln Bayou Preserve. They were growing in a wet bog area in the pine forest in small numbers. According to online sources, this plant is listed as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List. It was thought to be extinct in Georgia, but has been found in one area recently. This plant is threatened by habitat destruction through drainage of wetlands, agricultural activity, and urban encroachment. As well, these plants are favored in flower arrangements, and poaching is a problem.


Because this plant is in areas lacking nutrients, it supplements them with its carnivorous capture of insects. The pitcher has water in the bottom. Insects are attracted to the flower with its color and scent. Once inside, they easily slip to the bottom of the pitcher where they are trapped in the water, as well as by small hairs which prevent their escape. The last closeup photo of the top shows the hairs which aid in capture of insects. Once in the water at the bottom, the insects drown, and are digested by the plant.

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triggsturner 3 years ago

Great images and write up, Jim. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Machi 3 years ago

Thanks Jim!

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 3 years ago

Hey Machi...thanks for the nice comment! I am happy to add this posting to your Carnivorous Plants of Florida Mission.

Machi 3 years ago

Great spotting! I have never had the good fortune of seeing one in the wild yet. I never knew they were so tall. I really like the last photo too; great macro! Please consider adding this to my mission: Carnivorous Plants of Florida:

Jim Nelson
Spotted by
Jim Nelson

Florida, USA

Lat: 30.37, Long: -87.42

Spotted on Apr 23, 2016
Submitted on May 30, 2016

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