The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Appalachian Excursion in 2005!

Return to the Trip Overview

Mountain purpurea:
Sarracenia purpurea was also present, as you can see here. (Earlier I showed a photograph of a hybrid between the two mountain pitcher species, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that the two species might be found together.)

Now, this very bog is the "type" location for Sarracenia purpurea var. montana, which means that when the plant was first described (in this case, by Ron Determann and Don Schnell), specimens from this very site were used on the herbarium sheet they cited. And sure enough, look at the pitchers--the hoods are clasped around the pitcher opening just like the authors noted. So here you are, iconic Sarracenia purpurea var. montana. Here is another view, although it is contrasty and I don't like it as much.

I think I've probably made a point by now, and that is that the whole bit about the pitcher hoods of Sarracenia purpurea var. montana being clasped together--as they are here--is unreliable at best. Indeed, this is the only site I've seen it expressed. But I'll keep looking.

I'm not going to say that I think this taxon is unworthy of varietal status. However, I will say that I don't think the authors really quite captured the soul of this entity when they described it.

With the end of my roll, Mandy and I headed back out to our car and changed out of our muddy clothes. Over the previous days, we had each generated luggage filled with muddy, stinky, nasty clothes. Some had dried and were crispy stiff. Others were so vile we had isolated them in plastic bags; these had degenerated into mildew colonies. We laughed as we packed our gear, anticipating a possibility that, as fate would have it, was inevitable...

Yes, when we returned home, we found little mud-smeared tags in our luggage indicating that some poor schmucks had inspected our luggage as a part of airline security. That's a job I don't want to have!

back      forward

Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005