The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Apalachicola National Forest in 2010

Return to the Trip Overview

Sarracenia ×formosa
Searching for Sarracenia minor, I bounced our rental car along a sandy road through the sparse pine forest. I was trying to get as close as I could to some GPS coordinates that Randy Zerr had given me. I wanted to go a little further down the road, but an erosion gully cutting across the road stopped me--I had no interest in getting the rental car stuck.

The conditions were not very auspicious. All around was the monotonous sight of unbroken slash pine (Pinus elliottii) and longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forest, with a thick understory of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens).The afternoon rain had stopped for the moment, but the waist-high vegetation was dripping wet. This was going to be a very moist search.

We pushed our way through the wet palmetto, heading towards promising clearings in the trees. Soon we spied flowers of Sarracenia psittacina emerging from the wiregrass (Aristida stricta). This was encouraging!

And then, even more promising, I found the hybrid shown above. I combed back the grass to see it better, and pondered its ancestry. It certainly looked like Sarracenia psittacina × minor. But could it be a cross between Sarracenia psittacina and something else?

Could it be that this hybrid was the source of incorrect claims that S. minor occurred in Apalachicola? Obviously, Randy Zerr knows Sarracenia minor from a hybrid, but I couldn't remember if he said he had seen the plants, or had just looked for them.....

We continued to search.

back      forward

Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005