The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Appalachian Excursion in 2005!

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Red pitchers:
The previous pair of photographs took 30 minutes to compose. This photograph took about 45 minutes to get. No joke--I had to search around for plants I could get close to (not easy since one misstep would have resulted in a long, long tumble), and then I had to slowly creep into a suitable position (often laying in the flowing water), waiting for a windless moment. Once I finally got set up for a shot, I took about ten images, bracketting and worrying about breezes. This was a very challenging photographic environment!

Some thoughts about the plants... Are they a kind of Sarracenia purpurea subsp. venosa or are they Sarracenia purpurea subsp. purpurea? Since the outer surface of the pitchers are quite rough, I think they should be placed in the former group.

But what about the fiducial closed-hoods, supposedly characteristic of Sarracenia purpurea var. montana? These do not exhibit this feature. Indeed, based on pitcher shape characteristics alone, I defy anyone to separate these plants from regular Sarracenia purpurea subsp. venosa.

I was unable to measure the hood hairs (remember my time constraints and the conditions I was working in!), but it is possible that the hood hairs of these plants are shorter than normal (as claimed for Sarracenia purpurea var. montana). Also, it looks like the flower scapes on these plants might be shorter than on typical Sarracenia purpurea subsp. venosa. These observations seemed to bear out what I had seen in the North Carolina site, and also the Georgia site I had visited some years back.

Just some thoughts from a single, quick visit. Further trips would be useful, but I live on the wrong side of the continent.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005